Kate was dressed and sitting at the table drinking coffee and staring out the window by the time he emerged from his bedroom. He stopped a moment to stare at her. He was never going to get used to this. To her.
"Hey, I'm supposed to bring you coffee," he teased.
"Yeah, well, what was I supposed to do? Wait four years?" She grinned.
"Hey," he scoffed, stealing a glance up the stairs.
He stood over her and leaned in to kiss her soundly.
"Hey," she whispered, searching his eyes.
"Hey," he said back.
Ryan entered the room carrying a thick file. "Tyler Masters' service record. This guy was ripe for mercenary service."
Esposito looked up from his place at the large table they were all sharing, "Hey if that's true, maybe this guy we're after is a personal friend? Maybe a relative? Why else would he be loyal?"
"Guys, look at this." Kate held out a page with a list of names, circled was Pulgotti and Johanna Beckett. "This was in with the things Roy had."
"Did your mom know Pulgotti in some other context?" Castle asked.
She shook her head.
"You know, we haven't really answered the question, 'why you?' I mean, why not target me? Or any of us really, we all know as much about this case as you do. We'd keep looking even if you weren't, they've got to know that, so why all this focus on you specifically?"
She searched his face, emotions flickering. Suddenly she set her focus.
"Because this is personal, I know something that makes this personal. Something about my mom. . . "
"or someone who knew your mom," he finished for her.
Now she was enveloped in thought, the answer was just below the surface, eluding her.
"You spent last summer here." It was a statement not a question. She looked at him over the rooftop of the car, "Yeah."
They sat at the small table, side by side, looking through old photo albums, office Christmas parties with her mother and her mother's friends, sometimes slipping them from their plastic sleeves to read the identifications scrawled across the back, making a list of people her mother had known.
They both heard the door creek open, held their breaths a moment until they heard him speak.
Kate's father had a cup of coffee in his hand as he sat across from them. She pushed a photograph of Tyler Masters across the table at him. "Do you know him dad?"
"He doesn't look familiar. Who is he?"
"He's involved in mom's case somehow," she replied, aware of Castle's eyes on her. She was limiting her explanation, he wondered how many times she did this with him.
"His name is Tyler Masters, does that mean anything to you?"
"Tyler Masters," she watched her father turn the words over in his mind, "can't say that it's familiar."
"Do you know anything about mom's former colleagues or friends, do you keep up with them? Do you know what they do now?"
"Not really, only the ones that I knew back when Johanna and I worked together, but you know all the colleagues she had at the Justice Initiative I never knew very well."
She looked down at the photo of her mom smiling, dressed to the nines and holding a glass of champagne. Disappointment loomed, she didn't know how else to move forward.
"I did see that one of her old colleagues, Boren I think his name was, ran for the House of Representatives a few years ago. I think he still represents New York in Washington."
Now she was turning the information over in her mind. It was a direction.
"How did Johanna and Boren know each other?" Castle interjected in Kate's quietness.
"I think Boren helped her with some federal connections? I don't know, we only ever met a few times, she described him as some kind of miracle worker with information. I remember thinking that I wasn't so happy that my wife was so complimentary of a guy she worked with, you know?" He laughed at himself a little.
Rick smiled at him.
Jim Beckett saw. Kate wouldn't have done it if she thought her father would.
Katie had slipped the tips of her fingers against Rick's hand as they walked to the car.
A slow smile spread across Jim's face as he took another sip of coffee.
"You can't just walk into the office of a US Representative Beckett." Ryan was saying.
"Tyler Masters is his nephew, Ryan, he can't ignore that connection," Beckett was passionately focused.
"And we don't have any evidence he's done anything illegal," Esposito countered.
"It's him, I feel it," she held her hand to her chest.
All of them were silent a moment.
"Detective Beckett, I think you may need these," Gates stood in the doorway, Beckett's gun and badge in hand.
Kate glanced at Castle before reaching out to take what was offered. A proud smile spread across his face as he nodded.
Three detectives and a writer barged past security and into the room.
"Congressman Boren, could we have a word?"
He was eerily calm, standing without acknowledging them, he held out his hand to the others in the room, shaking them as if the interruption of four people emanating intensity had not occurred.
"Kate Beckett," he acknowledged after closing the door, "what can I do for you?" He wasn't even hiding the fact he knew who she was.
The three men listening to the self-possessed Congressman set their faces. He was baiting them.
Beckett, the interrogator, took the direct route.
"Congressman, I want to know why you killed Johanna Beckett and her three colleagues."
He contemplated her a moment before responding.
"I remember Johanna, beautiful woman, smart. Helped her out quite a bit over the years. You look like her you know? Bet you're just as smart, aren't you?" He smiled at her, the smile of a polished politician. Calm.
"Such a loss," he finished.
Castle watched mesmerized, willed Kate to keep control of her emotions.
"What did you do, you son of a bitch?" she growled low, intimidation radiating off her in waves, her partners had witnessed this before. Beckett unleashed.
The Congressman leaned forward in his chair, meeting her glare with one of his own. "You have evidence of a problem Detective?"
When she didn't respond he continued, "You want to make an accusation? You better have the goods to back it. Otherwise, little girl, you are in over your head."
She jutted her chin at him and growled, "I don't know, I think I've done pretty well swimming so far. I'm here aren't I?"
Abruptly, he stood up, "I'm not sure why you're here, but I know when I've had enough." He headed for the door.
"I don't think you understand Congressman. It's no longer about you having enough. I've had enough. I've spent far too long chasing this thing. You wanted a war, you got one."
"Yes, Detective, it appears you have spent too long chasing this thing. Perhaps you should know when to quit. Or maybe someone should stop you?"
"It's been tried before and I'm still here."
His demeanor slipped at that one. "Pity."
"Just so you know Congressman, if anything happens to Beckett or anyone else involved in this case in the future, this conversation, along with all the files we now have will be released publicly." Castle was stoic, "Call it a truce . . . for the moment."
The Congressman opened the door to his office and stood unmoving in the doorway.
Kate glared as she stalked out.
"We'll be in touch," Esposito said, flicking a speck of lint off the Congressman's suit.
"I know it's not enough," he said softly, handing her a coffee and sitting in his chair as she sat filling out paperwork.
"Yeah, but we have a name, we know who he is." She let out a long breath, "we just need proof."
"It will come Kate, we'll find what we need, it's a matter of time." She looked him in the eyes, leaned back in her chair.
"It doesn't matter Castle. It doesn't matter," she glanced around the bullpen, seeing Ryan taking information from a computer screen while Esposito pointed out something beside him. She took in Gates behind the glass speaking on the phone. Ran her fingers along her waist feeling her gun and badge on her belt. Looked back at him. A slow smile crossed her face. Kate Beckett was at peace, but for none of the reasons she ever thought she would be.
"Let's go home Castle."
Akhir. Fin. The End.
A/N: I am loathe to end this story arch, I bow to Marlowe to do that at the end of the series. You want another actual case story set in season 5? Go read Signature Line, it will give you a taste of what I'm working on as part of a Season 4.5 series for this summer. I'll start putting these out in June. I really, really appreciate your reviews, it takes a lot more time to write an actual plot line than the fluffy fic, so I like knowing that you are actually reading these (and I'm open to critique)!