Shippers

By Kate Carter

A/N: Takes place during "One Life To Lose" (the soap opera one guest starring Shawn's dad and Dr. Quinn).

"You know, these fans are kind of crazy," Ryan said, sitting back from his computer. "I mean, they are dedicated. You should see the websites."

"I know, bro. That 'FoxCanLover' chick was crazy." Esposito pushed back his own chair. "What does it say about someone who's so totally invested in the love lives of fictional characters?"

"Probably that they don't have any of their own," Ryan snorted. His eyes widened suddenly. "Oh geez, Jenny loves...that one show..."

"'That one show'? You don't even know which one it is?" Esposito raised an eyebrow. "Good observation, man. You should be a detective."

"Shut up." Ryan threw a wad of paper at Esposito, who caught it and tossed it back at him. It bounced off Ryan's arm and landed on his desk. "She makes me watch it from time to time, but I don't pay attention to it. She's always talking about how the male lead is secretly in love with the female lead and neither one of them is willing to admit it."

" Sounds like your fiancée is a shipper." Esposito grinned, before his attention was caught. In the break room, he could see Castle and Beckett talking as they got coffee.

"Oh, man...what am I doing wrong?" Ryan groaned. Esposito held up a hand. "Hold on a minute bro. I just thought of something."

Ryan looked at him. After a minute, he prompted him. "Yeah...?"

"So you can define a 'shipper' as being someone who's interested in the love life of two people they believe belong together, right?" Esposito said slowly.

"Yeah..." Ryan said cautiously.

"Sort of like Beckett and Castle?" Esposito suggested.

Ryan glanced at the detective and the writer, oblivious to watchers as they chatted over the steaming cups of coffee in their hands. "Dude, are you saying we're shippers?"

"Think about it, bro. You know and I know that they're both head over heels crazy about each other."

"They are?"

Esposito shook his head sadly. "Man, you are the saddest detective in the history of law enforcement if you haven't noticed that."

"Well, I knew they were interested in each other. I guess I've been preoccupied with my own relationship," Ryan said, grinning at the picture of him and Jenny on his desk.

"That reminds me, you set a date yet?" Esposito asked, attention momentarily diverted.

"She hasn't figured out where she wants to have it yet. I think she's basing it off of what they have available."

"Better hope she doesn't want one of those places that's booked up till 2015," Esposito advised.

Ryan shuddered. "I hope not. But seriously man, Beckett and Castle?"

"Dude. Are you kidding me? Just look at them there." Esposito gestured toward the break room. Beckett was laughing at something Castle had said. As they watched, she reached up and pushed a lock of hair behind her ear before grinning up at him.

"See that? The hair tuck. She's so interested in him," Esposito said smugly.

"Hey, I believe you, man. So what do we call them?" Ryan asked.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, on 'Temptation Lane,' they do this thing with conjoining the names - you know, FoxCan, CanFonso. What would Castle and Beckett be? CaBec? Beckle?"

"Naw, bro, Caskett," Esposito said, grinning at the pair who remained entirely oblivious to the fact that they were being discussed.

"Caskett," Ryan tested it out. "Isn't it a little morbid?"

"Dude, we're homicide detectives. She's a homicide detective. He writes murder mysteries. Do you think any of us would be here if we didn't have a morbid streak? I think it's appropriate, personally," Esposito said as he swung back towards his computer monitor.

"True," said Ryan. "Actually, the more you say it, the more it makes sense. Caskett, Caskett, Caskett," he tested.

"Did you need something?" asked Beckett as she walked towards them. Ryan and Esposito gave guilty starts.

"No. Nothing. Just, um, looking up some more background information on the husband," Ryan said quickly.

Castle, trailing behind Beckett as usual, raised an eyebrow at Esposito. Esposito raised an eyebrow back at him, then shrugged his shoulders, the picture of innocence. "I've got to go talk to Lanie," he said, standing up.

Beckett gave them both a suspicious glance. "Okay. Right," she said, unconvinced, before turning towards her own desk.

Esposito caught Ryan's eye. Nodding slightly in Castle and Beckett's direction, he mouthed "Caskett" before he walked away.

A/N: Seriously, am I the only one who's noticed that Esposito is like the president of the Caskett Fan Club? Just watch some of the looks he gives the two of them.