Standard Fanfic Disclaimer that wouldn't last ten seconds in a court of law: These aren't my characters. I'm just borrowing them for, um, er, typing practice. Yeah, that's it, typing practice. They will be returned to their original owners undamaged (or at least suitably bandaged) when the story is done. Amateur work of fiction, no profit made from this beyond my pleasure in writing and hopefully your pleasure in reading. Originally published in the fanzine Our Favorite Things #27. This story was a FanQ nominee for Best Multimedia Story, but regrettably (though deservedly) lost to Lorraine's NCIS/QL story.
by Susan M. M.
a FanQ nominee
Martha Rodgers, an attractive middle-aged woman, breezed through the corridors of the 12th Precinct as if she owned the building. She waved to a trio of people ahead of her. "Rick, oh, Rick."
Rick Castle, a handsome dark-haired man, turned when he heard his name. "Mother, what are you doing here?"
"You left your cell phone at home. I thought I'd drop it off on my way to the audition," she said.
"What are you auditioning for this time?" asked Det. Kate Beckett. Like Martha, Kate was an attractive redhead. Unlike Martha, Kate's color didn't come out of a bottle.
"An off-Broadway Shakespeare production," Martha replied. "I'd love to play Juliet's nurse, but I'm too thin for the role. Probably the best I'll manage is Lady Capulet." She glanced at the blond man in the three-piece suit standing beside Kate. Her jaw dropped. "Johnny? Johnny Barlow?"
The handsome blond started momentarily, then recovered quickly.
"No, you couldn't possibly be Johnny. You're much too young," Martha realized.
"This is Det. John Amsterdam, from the 10th Precinct," Kate introduced. "He's been helping us on the Faraday case."
"John Barlow was my uncle; I'm named for him," Det. Amsterdam lied.
"The resemblance is uncanny," Martha marveled.
John nodded. "Everyone says so. Said so. He's passed on now."
"Oh, that's a shame. I always regretted ..." Her voice trailed off. She forced a smile."It hardly matters now."
Rick asked, "Was he someone special?"
"He was, once. Very special."
Amsterdam pretended to remember."Uncle John never mentioned names, of course, but were you the USO actress he met in Vietnam?"
Martha's eyes glowed. "He remembered me?"
"Oh, yes, he told me about 'the one that got away.' Said he always regretted not trying harder to find you after the war," Amsterdam lied. In truth, she had been a momentary interlude, a brief but welcome escape from the war. He had forgotten her until now.
Martha turned to Rick. "I wish you could have met him, Rick. Johnny was an ... extraordinary man."
Amsterdam took a second look at Rick Castle. He did some mental arithmetic. He realized he'd better add another name to his chart.
Author's Notes: Castle is a detective show currently on ABC, about Rick Castle, a single father and mystery author. Since the mayor is a fan of his books, he has permission to hang around the 12th Precinct (where Barney Miller used to work) as research for further books. Det. Kate Beckett is his liaison and the inspiration for his newest heroine, Nikki Heat. His mother, Martha Rodgers is a minor actress. New Amsterdam was a short-lived Fox show in 2008, about an immortal. In 1642, Johann van der Zee died saving the life of a young Native American woman. The tribe's shaman resurrected him and gave him temporary immortality: until he meets the woman who is destined to be his one true love, his soulmate, he will not age. In the course of looking for his soulmate, he's had 609 girlfriends, a handful of wives, and 63 ... maybe 64? ... children. He changes his name and occupation every decade or so. He keeps a detailed genealogical chart of his descendents.