TITLE: Alexander & Jane
AUTHOR: Lord of Kavaka
TIMELINE: Season 1 AU
STORY TYPE: Romance/Angst
SPOILERS: Anything from Season 1
DISCLAIMER: I do not own them, and I make no profit.
SUMMARY: She met him once, long ago, thinking he was someone else, and fell in love. Caskett AU.
Alexander & Jane – Chapter 1
Richard Castle loved the spotlight and being the center of attention. He played the role, and played it well, though it wasn't the real him. Sometimes he lost himself in the persona, letting himself forget his own hopes and dreams… and insecurities. But his argument with Gina about his writer's block for the past couple of months really ticked him off. It annoyed him how well she pushed his buttons and knew just how to stomp on him when he was down. What he ever saw in her, he would never know.
Shaking his head, he waded through the crowd, making his way over to his mother and daughter, the only ones in his life with whom he could be himself.
"Give me a hit of the bubbly," he heard his mother call out to the bartender.
"Make that two!" Castle added as he walked up to join his family.
"Hey, kiddo," his mother said, turning to face him, lowering her voice almost conspiratorially. "Sales must be slipping, they're only serving the soft stuff."
"Hey Dad," Alexis chirped with a soft smile that calmed his heart.
He leaned over and kissed her cheek. "Hey sweetie." Sometimes it seemed like Alexis was the only one that truly understood him. After some small talk with his mother, he discovered she'd been the one to let slip to Gina that he had been having trouble writing.
"I would just appreciate it if you didn't share with my ex-wife," he said, once she'd confessed her part.
"Oh, what's the big deal…," Martha arched her neck to spy over his shoulder. "Hang on sweetie, I just got a hit on my grey-dar." She paused, narrowing her eyes. "Bingo, no ring!" She turned and grabbed her clutch. "Stand back kids, momma's goin' fishing."
Castle stepped aside and let her go. He sighed and paced forward lowering his head. He looked out at the revelers, letting his mind wander. Alexis watched with him keen eyes. Castle closed his eyes and let out a long sigh, then looked up at nothing, then back down at the partygoers, his eyes not truly watching them.
"You're thinking of her again, aren't you?" Alexis asked, giving him a small sad smile.
"Huh?" Castle blinked and looked over at his daughter, giving her a scrutinizing gaze. There was no way he was going to ever admit that out loud, and she knew it.
Alexis sighed softly, and averted her eyes for a moment, recognizing some of the pain and hurt in his eyes at having not seen or heard of her in almost eight years. "The one that got away," she elaborated, gazing at him with sympathy, wishing she could just take all her father's hurt away as she watched his shoulders slump.
Castle swallowed hard and gave a nod. He always thought of her. Their lone month together was seared into his memory. He would never forget that time. In those four weeks he had found happiness and love for the first time ever. True love, in his opinion. He had thought she felt the same, but after the incident, she disappeared and he never saw or heard of her again. Before her, his one that got away had been Kyra Blaine. But now, no. It was her. It would always be her. She was his refuge, his sanctuary. Whenever he felt lost or alone, he would think of her and remember their brief yet happy time together.
"Jane," he whispered her name softly in a wistful voice, staring off into his memories. That is all he knew. He had no surname, nothing to help him find her. And he had tried. God knows he tried! He had spent the better part of three years looking for her, before deciding it was time to stop searching for a phantom and find a mother for Alexis. And that's what had led him to Gina. Not his best decision, but it was one he could live with.
Castle shook his head, shedding himself of the memory. After all this glitz and glam, he knew it would come back to him when he went to sleep to a lonely bed. He might be flirtatious with the airheads here, gladly signing their breasts, but when it was all over, he'd be going home to an empty bed, thinking of Jane, the one that got away.
"Sorry, Dad," Alexis said, giving his hand a gentle pat. "I didn't mean to remind you of her and put you in a funk for the rest of the evening."
He looked back at his daughter and placed his other hand over hers and squeezed it reassuringly. "That's alright, pumpkin," Castle gave her a meek smile. "At least I'll always have you."
"And the fangirls," Alexis said, jerking her head towards a giggling group of coeds. Seriously, who invited them?
Castle actually groaned. He couldn't help it. Sure, they were hot and had great bodies, but up there, where it counted, they were empty. They could do for the short term, but for the long time… for the whole nine yards, he wanted something more than ordinary. He wanted extraordinary. And thanks to Jane, that bar was set pretty high.
Glancing back out at the floor, Castle spotted his mother. "Oh lord, here it comes… she's making her move," he mumbled, leaning slightly over to Alexis, like he was passing along State secrets. She just chuckled softly and turned back to her homework.
Castle watched his mother for a time, and then turned away, unable to watch anymore. "You should have me committed," he whispered to Alexis, almost sounding serious, if it wasn't for the bemused look on his face.
"For what? Letting her move in? I think it's sweet," the young teen replied, glancing over at her grandmother.
"Well, it won't be when I strangle her," Castle quipped back, accepting the drinks from the bartender, placing one in front of Alexis as he raised the other to is lips.
"You know I'm only fifteen, right?"
"Well, you're an old soul," he replied, then took a swig of his drink. Yes… it was strong. Something to help dull the pain of his memories.
"Well, my soul can wait," Alexis told him, picking the glass up and moving it away from her.
Castle smirked, and turned more fully around to face Alexis. "When I was your age…," he paused, and raised his eyebrows. "No, I can't tell you that story. It's wildly inappropriate. Which, oddly, is my point. Don't you want wildly inappropriate stories that you can't tell your children?" He moved and sat down on the barstool.
Alexis smiled, laughing slightly. "I think you have enough of those for the both of us."
"Life should be an adventure," Castle said, leaning back against the counter. He sighed and looked at his daughter. "You want to know why I killed Derrick?"
Alexis paused in her studying and looked up at him.
"There were no more surprises," he explained. "I knew what was going to happen, every moment of every scene." He sighed and slumped back. "It's just like these parties, they've become so… predictable." He changed his voice to match the sycophants out there. "I'm your biggest fan! Where do you get your ideas?"
Alexis rolled her eyes, interjecting, "And the ever popular, will you sign my chest?" She added finger quotation marks to that last word.
"That one I don't mind so much," Castle said, smiling slightly as he brought the glass back up to his lips.
"Yeah, well, FYI… I do," Alexis gave him a little heated glare.
Castle gave a nod, letting her know that he understood where she was coming from. "You know, just once I want someone to come up to me and say something new," he sighed.
He closed his eyes for a moment, a little peeved about the intrusion into his private little world with Alexis, but something was oddly familiar about that voice. It was like an echo of something heard before, but not entirely forgotten. He took a moment to put on his mask, the face of his persona, of the playboy author Richard Castle. Turning around, plastering a fake smile onto his face, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a felt pen. "Where would you like me to sign?" he asked, expecting some empty-headed blonde woman wanting him to sign her chest.
Instead he was met by startling green eyes that were so very captivating. He was stunned, left breathless. He knew eyes like those. Castle blinked and stared at her. She was gorgeous, yet seemed unaware of the power she held. His eyes flicked down to her lips… god, he wanted to kiss those lips! He remembered lips exactly like those, lips he had kissed so many times in the heat of passion.
And then a badge was being shoved up in front of his eyes.
"Detective Kate Beckett, NYPD," she spoke quickly, almost like she was afraid if she paused to take a breath, she would be unable to continue. "We need to ask you a few questions about a murder that took place earlier tonight." When she was finished, she sucked in a breath, her eyes scanning his face as if she was worried about his reaction.
Castle's eyes widened. He sat stark still on the barstool, completely caught off guard for the face he was now seeing. He knew those eyes. He knew those lips. Her knew that face. He knew her. He… he remembered. It… it was so long ago, but he still remembered. It was like staring at a ghost from your past, and it left him utterly stunned.
Taking advantage of his shocked state, Alexis leaned in over his shoulder and grabbed the pen. "That's new," she said, and took the pen away, though she was still interested in what was going on. She had never seen that expression on her father's face.
Finally, he blinked and gazed up at this Detective Kate Beckett, his jaw slack, yet he was still able to make it move. "Ja… Jane?"
Here she was, celebrating her 20th birthday—if you could call it celebrating—without her mother. Kate Beckett was a mess, really. She barely ate anymore, was failing her classes, and generally still moping about like it was the end of the world. In short, nothing was going well for her. Her Dad had turned to the bottle for comfort, so he was of little help. So, to feel alive, she started hanging out with the wrong sort of people, which lead to going to some club with her "friends" to celebrate her 20th birthday.
The club was loud and crowded. She hated crowds. They reminded her of life and the living, and that her mother was no longer a part of that group. She was dead; buried six feet under in the cemetery she visited almost weekly. It didn't matter that it had almost been two years... Beckett would never get over her mother's death. It had destroyed her life, sucked out the happiness of living it, replacing it with what her shrink called survivor's guilt.
If her "friends" hadn't fake IDed her into this club, Kate would probably be curled up in her bed back at the off-campus housing, crying herself to sleep in an empty apartment—her roomies were out of town. Instead of that, she was knocking back shots of vodka and flirting with any good-looking guy. It was her birthday; she might just take one of these studs back to her place for some fun. God knows she needed it. She'd done it last year… found some guy on campus… a bad boy sort, and had really rough sex with him. Afterwards she had to see her OB/GYN about some bleeding... luckily it wasn't too severe.
As she flung what was probably her fifth or sixth—she really wasn't quite sure what number—shot of vodka back, burning down her throat as she swallowed, Kate caught sight of a man gazing at her from the end of the bar. He was probably ten years older than her, but damn was he hot. Yet there was also a sad quiet look about him, something that she could identify with.
Wanting to know his story, she brushed passed the pre-med student who kept talking about how he wanted to save the world, and squeezed her way through the throng on the dance floor, heading in the ruggedly handsome guy's direction. His eyes followed her, like he knew she was coming to him.
"Hi!" she said, a little drunk, but still coherent enough to know what she was doing. "Wanna buy a girl a drink?" And then, for good measure, she added, "It's my birthday!"
His eyes were a cobalt blue that fascinated her and she could not help but stare at him. He smiled at her, and called over the bartender. Kate was so lost in his eyes that she failed to hear what he had ordered, but frankly she couldn't care less. She was already enthralled by this man. There was something about him. For a second, she frowned, trying to get past her slightly buzzed thoughts to think of what it was that was so fascinating about him. It was almost like she knew him. Like she'd seen him before.
"Do I know you?" she asked, catching him off guard.
He looked at her for a moment, and then averted his eyes. "No… we… we haven't met, I… I'm Alexander Rodgers," he said, extending a hand.
Kate smiled, and took his hand, shaking it. She liked him. All the other guys just tried to grab her ass after introductions and then just stared at her breasts. Alexander… he looked her in the eye. She must have been smiling like an idiot, because he looked at her awkwardly as he waited for a response.
"And you are?"
"Oh," Kate blushed, embarrassed. She was just about to tell him her name when one of her "friends" spotted her and intruded on their conversation.
"Hey… Jane!" her "friend" gave Kate a wink, using the name on her fake ID. "How's the birthday girl? Hopefully you're getting plenty drunk and finding some nice hunk to take home and have your way with." She looked over at Alexander and gave a salacious look.
Kate blushed all the more, glancing over at Alexander and giving him an apologetic look. He gave her an understanding nod, and sat back, ignoring the look her "friend" had given him. Yet, unlike she had expected after the intrusion into their moment, he did not leave. Her heart clenched with silent joy. He wasn't going to leave. She didn't know why she was so happy about that, but she ignored it, and just lived in the moment, something she'd rarely done in the past two years.
Giving him a grateful smile, Kate pulled her "friend" aside and quickly gossiped with her about things; useless stuff, if she was being honest. Really? Why was she hanging out with these people? Kate was seriously going to have to reconsider some of these so-called "friendships" she had made during the past two years. Some of these people really weren't good influences.
Once when she had partied hard with them, Kate had awoken the next morning in some strange place with some strange guy—sure he was hot, but it kind of scared her that she didn't know his name or how she ended up there. She didn't remember anything, and that was sort of a wake up call that she needed to start changing her life. But she was still grief heavy with her mother's absence. So, whenever they called or showed up, she'd dropped what she was doing to go out and live vicariously through whatever high jinks they got up to (mostly it was just going to clubs, drinking and partying, and finding some guy to have a one-nighter with.
Kate was pleased to see that Alexander was still there when she turned back around. She took the barstool next to him and smiled, thrilled to get a second chance at talking with him. "Thanks, I'm sorry about that," she said, gesturing back to her "friend".
"You sure she's your friend?" Alexander asked, glancing over at said "friend" dancing with the pre-med guy out on the floor.
"No," Kate answered honestly.
He seemed surprised. "Well good, Jane, because I'm sure you can do better than that," he laughed softly and Kate's eyes dropped to his lips. God, she barely knew him, yet she already wanted to kiss him. She was so absorbed in that fact, she hadn't even noticed he called her "Jane".
Somehow that fact got lost during the rest of the evening, and soon they were heading to her off-campus apartment. They couldn't even make it back to the bed, and collapsed on the couch, and damn did she have her wicked way with him. He was good, too… great, really, if she was being truthful. She'd never slept with someone who seemed so in tuned with her needs, her wants. Thankfully, her roomies where gone for the weekend, so she had the apartment all to herself, meaning she could scream as loud as she wanted… and dammit, did Alexander make her scream!
In the morning, he had made her breakfast… like a real breakfast with bacon, eggs, and toast. She hadn't had one of those for like forever. It was really sweet. As they ate, looking guilty, Alexander confessed to her that he hadn't done anything like last night in a long, long time… which made him feel sort of old. She laughed at him, did some teasing, and he did this adorable little pout that she soon wiped off his face with a searing kiss as she jumped into his lap. Then she proceeded to show him that he wasn't as old as he thought.
And God… was it amazing!
To clean up after their morning escapades, he joined her in the shower, and they necked like teenagers (well, she was 20, so it was only natural). She enjoyed it so much, and was beginning to feel like this thing they had could go places other than just for one night. He later confirmed this, when he asked her out to dinner, which—of course—she enthusiastically said yes too. Before leaving, he gave her the address to the place, some bar called the Old Haunt. And at the door she kissed him while clutching the paper with his cell number and the address to the bar scrawled on it. To her it was nothing short of a map to a buried treasure.
It was not until he left that she realized she had a pounding headache. Kate was truly amazed that being with him, not just in the physical sense, had blocked the gripping hangover she had from last night. After floating on air for a couple of minutes, still swooning over their goodbye kiss, Kate sauntered back to her room and collapsed on the bed, but not before she set her alarm clock. She wasn't going to miss having a real date with this guy. He was so much more than a one-night stand.