This is my third time trying to post this story. Don't know why it's not working. Hopefully 3rd time's the charm.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. 'Nuff said.

A/N: Okay, I'm officially on a mini-writing binge. Which is quite something considering I don't really write. But these recent episodes and promos have gotten me in a funk and I need to create my own little fantasy timeline. Damn you Andrew Marlowe! Keep this up and you'll be getting my therapy bills in the mail.

Spoilers: Up to and including the promo for Headhunters.

What If…?

"You're going on a stake-out with who?" Detective Kate Beckett looked at her unofficial partner somewhat incredulously.

"Detective Slaughter down in Guns & Gangs. I ran into him at the lobby this morning and we got to talking. He was telling me about this case his crew is working on. They're close to making the bust and I asked if I can ride along. This is going to be totally awesome!" The writer excitedly recapped for his muse.

"Wh… why Guns & Gangs and why now?"

"I don't know," Castle shrugs, trying to hide the fact that working alongside her after finding out her secret was proving a lot more difficult than he ever anticipated. "Nikki Heat was only a three-book deal. And I'm about to polish off the last one and I've been thinking about going in another direction so I'm just doing other research. You're okay with it right Beckett?"

"Yeah, yeah. Why wouldn't I be?" Beckett's pig-headedness getting the better of her. She refused to acknowledge the hurt and disappointment she felt in the pit of her stomach, instead going with her usual denial. "You had a muse before me. I'm not surprise you've found another one. I need the peace and quiet to catch up on some work anyway. See you when you get back."

Before Castle had a chance to respond, Beckett turned around so that he wouldn't see the pained look on her face. She headed back to her desk and took out some paperwork that she really had no intention of doing.

Just then, Slaughter and his partner came up the stairs from their division one floor below. "Hey, Castle!"

"Heeeey Slaughter, my man!" Castle greeted the detective like a long lost friend.

Off on the opposite side of the Homicide bullpen, Ryan and Esposito watched in disgust as Castle jokes around with the other detectives.

"Look at him. It's like he's cheating on us." Ryan observed.

"Worst," Esposito commented. "It's like he's cheating on her." He nodded towards the senior detective on their team who now has her nose deep in paperwork, trying to ignore what was going on behind her.

"They're pulling away from each other. What the hell happened?" Esposito gave a hard pat on Ryan's back and said "C'mon, we got to fix this."

Just as Esposito and Ryan made it to the other side of the bullpen, the Guns & Gangs detectives left to go back downstairs and Castle yelled after them, "See you guys in ten."

Turning back around, Castle was surprised he was face to face with Ryan and Esposito. "Hey boys. What's happening?" Without answering him, the two of them each grab Castle by one arm and dragged him off to the break room ignoring his surprised protests.

"Hey, hey, hey! No need to be rough." Castle shook off their hold once they were in the break room, adjusting his skewed jacket and shirt from their man-handling.

"What the hell is going on bro? Why you running off with the G&G crew?" Esposito asked.

"Nothing's going on. It's like I told Beckett. I'm just doing research for my next series of books."

"Why do you need to rub it in Beckett's face huh?" Ryan accused.

"I'm doing nothing of the sort." Castle's voice squeaked, somewhat annoyed at the accusation.

"And what about those lunch dates of yours? Parading all your bimbos around here, going on and on about how 'fabulous' everything is." Esposito continued undeterred. "How do you think that makes Beckett feels?"

"Look, whatever feelings you guys think Beckett has for me, she doesn't."

"What are you, a little slow? Everybody around here sees it."

How can he explain to them? He hasn't told anybody but his mother. Nobody else knew the truth. Nobody knew about his confession that day at the cemetery. Nobody knew that Beckett remembered everything. Nobody knew she refused to acknowledge it because she doesn't feel the same way. Castle simply said defiantly, "Well I'm telling you, you guys are wrong."

"No, he's not just slow Javi. He's blind and slow." Ryan said to his partner.

"Hey, I'm sure as hell not deaf!" Castle protested angrily. "What's it to you guys anyway?"

"She's like a sister to us man. And you do not want to know what a Hispanic brother will do to a guy who hurts his sister." Esposito threatened.

"Nor the Irish." Ryan added. "And we're cops; we know how to make things look like an accident."

Before anything more can be said between the three men, Beckett opened the door and poked her head in. "Ryan, Espo we got a body. Let's go." She gave Castle a quick glance but without further acknowledgement closed the door on them again.

"Look," Ryan added hastily. "I overheard her and the Cap talking about her maybe accepting an invitation from Scotland Yards to go over there on assignment to share some of our best practices with them. Apparently Detective Inspector Hunt was mighty impressed with her."

"Yeah, I'll bet he was." Castle was surprised at the jealousy in his voice.

"Whatever happened between the two of you, fix it. Comprender chico?" Esposito added with a poke to Castle's chest and a glare for good measure. With that, the two detectives left Castle alone in the break room with his thoughts.

~*To be Continued*~

A/N: Once again it's really late, I am way too tired to read and re-read this. I can only hope it's not filled with spelling and grammar errors. But fear not, I know where I want to take this story and I will finish it.