Disclaimer: I own neither 'Batman' or 'Castle', and the original idea for this story was inspired by a piece of fanart created by AwsomeGeek and is used with her permission

Feedback: Feel free

AN: This is the third in a series that began in 'Detective al Ghul' and was continued in 'The Daughter's Advice', based on the idea that Kate Beckett is really Talia al Ghul, daughter of Ra's al Ghul; reading those stories is VITAL if you're going to fully understand what's happening here (To cover the most essential point, 'Talia' here is Kate Beckett under an alias; remember that and everything else should fall into place).

This is an AU take on 'Dark Knight Rises', beginning shortly after Batman's return to action in 'Rises' and starting somewhere between 'Undead Again' and 'Always' for Kate Beckett; hope you like it

War of the Daughters

Walking into the precinct, Kate had to admit, things were going fairly well for her. Things between her and Castle were finally starting to get back to normal after that earlier unexplained distance he'd suddenly started putting between them, she was feeling comfortable in her job and the task facing her once again, and she liked to think that her therapy was coming along well (The last might not be an exact science, but her counsellor had assured her that things were going well).

Still, at the rate things were going, she wouldn't say no to a few quiet hours in the not-too-distant future; maybe she'd get lucky and just be able to catch up on some work without worrying about murder today...

Staring at the morning newspaper that had been lying on her desk, Kate's train of thought was cut short as she took in the headline before her.

Dark Knight Returns?

She might have hoped that Bruce Wayne would return to the role that had forever changed Gotham City- even after so many years and the public slandering of his name, Kate Beckett remained proud to be one of the few people in the world who knew who Batman was under the mask-, but that didn't mean that it didn't disturb her to consider what kind of situation would merit him going back into action after so long.

Quickly, she started reading the story underneath the headline, her eyes scanning rapidly over the article as she picked out the most relevant and interesting information. According to the paper, an unknown man in a mask had attacked the Gotham Stock Exchange before he and his men had departed, their motives and objectives in mounting such an attack a mystery, resulting in a high-speed chase that had been interrupted by the Batman. The pursuit had ended inconclusively- apparently the police had pursued Batman into an alley where he'd escaped via an aerial vehicle of some kind-, but that still left the question of the unidentified masked man to consider.

Despite the discouraging nature of the mystery of the masked man's agenda in such an unusual attack- stocks might be the more obvious currency in today's increasingly electronic world, but they were also rather difficult to actually steal in a manner that you could use-, Kate had to admit that she was actually happy to read the article; after so long hearing virtually no news about Bruce Wayne beyond the fact that he was apparently hanging around in his manor and letting all kinds of strange rumours circulate about his current appearance and personal habits, it was refreshing to see him actually doing something with his life.

Of course, now that Kate thought about it, after the mood he'd been in the last time she'd seen him- coupled with the sheer lack of public activity he'd shown since those dark days with the Joker's rampage through Gotham-, that did raise the question of what was serious enough to prompt him to go back into action after this much time...

For a moment, Kate was tempted to drop everything and head over to Gotham to see if there was anything that she could do to help, but quickly pushed that thought aside; Bruce might have been out of the game for a while, but she had to have faith that he wouldn't have become Batman once more if he didn't think that he could handle the situation at hand.

He was one of her father's best students- if not the best student he'd ever trained-; even if his enemies were above what the conventional law enforcement agencies could deal with, he could handle a few overly ambitious thugs...

AN 2: A simple start, I know, but I'm getting to the real changes later; next chapter will jump to shortly after 'Always' for Castle, and explore Beckett's reaction to the latest events in Gotham...