3

It was weeks before Castle got blocked again. He was able to add in the missing element (tenderness) between his two protagonists and sailed through the next few chapters.

But paperwork was boring and Kate was PMSing or something and he wasn't inspired tonight.

So he pulled up the document titled "Random" and began to freewrite.

Nikki was beyond pissed. Captain Irons had benched her. She could help with the investigations, but she could not under any circumstances attend a take-down or an interrogation. And it was Rook's fault, damn him. Him and his talented penis. If she wasn't knocked up, she wouldn't be benched. Just because she put on that scandalous teddy she'd bought for their honeymoon didn't make it her fault. He'd been dropping baby hints for weeks. She'd quit taking her birth control… oh shit. Yeah, maybe it was her fault. Because she really did want to have a baby with him. But she was still pissed at Gates. (backspacing) Irons.

Rick smiled. One day. Hopefully soon. It wouldn't be a friend's wedding where they walk down the aisle together. It won't be someone else's first dance as Mr. & Mrs.

If only he could get out of the Friend Zone. She gave him hot looks sometimes, but he mostly accepted that she wasn't ready and was waiting. At least they were becoming closer every day. He'd decided to avoid her eyes. There was no way to keep his feelings hidden when they had "eye sex" as Lanie called it. She wasn't ready for his feelings. Or maybe she was making progress, but he was too afraid to see it. She'd hurt him so much already by disappearing this summer after she was shot. He wasn't ready to hope again.

Except in the middle of the night when he couldn't sleep and couldn't write. And he made up stories of their life together.

He poised his fingers over the keys again then dismissed his idea. He tapped a few keys then backspaced over them. The stuff in my head should either go to Penthouse Forum or I should follow Rook's lead and write a romance novel.


Tap… tap… tap… Maybe something dumb would get his mind off his non-relationship with his non-girlfriend.

Mulder and Scully, now old and decrepit, turn the lights on in the dark parking structure. Finally, they have found him – their long lost informant. Deep Throat. He must work out – he's lost a lot of weight. And he obviously quit smoking, too. Mulder touched the top of his head, noticing that, while his hair has thinned, Deep Throat's looks better than ever. Maybe he got plugs.

Scully slapped him across his chest for being so obviously vain. What did he expect, to still be hot and out fornicating in Cali or something? Besides, she was fluffy around the middle and her boobs were saggy from popping out those kids of his.

Mulder ignored her. He was hyper-focused on Deep Throat and his new look. And the gall of him, abandoning them to go traipsing around Manhattan, having a creepy smoky rendezvous with that sexy writer.

Mulder gunned the engine, spun a wheel on their black SUV, and raced by; Scully opened the door and snatched him; effectively ending his meet with Jameson Rook about keeping the "dragon" at bay.

If only he knew what they knew, thought Mulder, that the criminal mastermind was not dragon at all, but an alien.

"Ah, crap. I need a drink." Rick got up and wandered to the kitchen and poured a shot of bourbon. He had obviously watched too much X-files as a young man. Mr. Smith was no Deep Throat. Or maybe he was. He poured a second shot. Besides, there's no such thing as 'too much X-Files.'

Rick spoke aloud even though he was alone (or maybe that was precisely why he spoke aloud). "Now, that would wrap it up in an interesting package. The Dragon is an alien. 'Why, Kate, my dear, I've discovered why we can't figure out who the bastard is who's behind all this. He's a space alien. Lemme go put on my space cowboy outfit, and I'll have this wrapped up in a jiff.'"

He threw back a third shot.

"Put it on and grab one of those antique dueling pistols. Who needs a concealed carry permit when you've got a collectable? I'll just put on that brown coat and point that pistol at the governor's head and demand that he tell me who's pulling the strings."

A fourth shot.

He slammed the shotglass down on the counter and stomped back into his study. He was already feeling the alcohol.


Nikki didn't know why Jameson jumped in from of that bullet for her, not for sure. Except, she did know. There was only one reason he would do that. The same reason that kept her at his hospital bedside reading to him, not leaving until she was forced to by Raley and Ochoa days later. She'd eaten (barely) there, slept there, showered in that tiny excuse for a bathroom. She couldn't let him be alone, didn't want to leave his side. Because the loved him. And he took a bullet to save her.

But he finally woke up, and she was there. His shooter was dead not long after Rook went down, taken by the hail of bullets from Heat and Roach. But it wasn't enough for her. She wanted to know why, if only to keep them safe. She didn't want to leave it at that, but she would, if it was what she had to do for them to have a life.

"I know, I know. It doesn't fit neatly with the details of Heat Rises. How does the governor connect? How is he influenced by the Dragon?"

He turned on his smart board and forgot all about writing.