Because you really needed another post-Probable Cause fic.
Though I don't think I've seen this done yet so there's that... I may be wrong though.
It just... wouldn't leave me alone.
She couldn't remember the last time she had spent so much time in holding. She clutched the files in her hand as she walked across the concrete floor, her heels echoing in the empty air, trying to keep her breathing steady as she moved toward the only occupied holding cell. She volunteered to do it when Gates had learned of the new evidence, and while they had all looked at her like she was crazy, Gates warning her silently not to let her emotions get in the way of the investigation, no one fought her.
She just… She needed to know for herself. She needed to be the one to ask him.
She needed to hear him say it.
He looked up at the sound of her heels across the floor, smiling up at her until he saw the look on her face.
Oh god, she loves him.
Kate nodded at the officer standing by the cell, silently motioning for him to leave as she tried to ignore the twisting in her gut. She waited until she heard the sound of the small break room door shut before she sat down on the bench outside of the cell.
"Tech found some things," she said softly, "while they were searching your computer."
She cleared her throat, opening the file in her hand before she held up a document, the story concept he had written that outlined the murder up so he could see it.
"Do you recognize this?"
He frowned, leaning over to see it more clearly.
"Tech recovered it from an area of your hard drive that had been wiped clean," he glanced up at her briefly, shocked before he went back to reading, his brow furrowed, "It's a story… About how to commit the perfect crime. The killer gets away with it by staging a crime scene that is so outrageous that the cops can't see that he's hiding right in front of them."
Castle looked at the paper for a few more moments before looking back up at her.
"Detective," he said, his voice tinted with a tone of incredulity, "I didn't write this story."
"It doesn't sound like me at all. If youread it, you would be able to tell. Beckett, this wasn't me."
"You could have done it to throw us off your trail."
He looked at her, his eyes narrowing with hurt.
"If I'm asking," she murmured, putting the story back in the folder, "the D.A. will be asking, too."
His gaze softened a little bit and he nodded, looking down at his lap.
She loves him.
A silence fell between the two of them for a moment before Kate took a deep breath.
"There's more," she whispered.
He looked back up at her, his shoulders slumping before he nodded, encouraging her to continue.
She took another unsteady breath before reaching for the stack of emails in the bottom of the folder with shaking hands.
"These were there, too," she said, holding up one of the offending emails, "They're emails between you and the victim, starting around 8 weeks ago," she held up a new email, squeezing her eyes shut briefly before continuing, keeping her voice as detached as she possibly could, "they say that the two of you met after one of your book signings and that you wanted to keep it quiet because you were seeing someone. You tried to break it off a week ago and she threatened to tell your girlfriend and you planned on going to her apartment to try and work it out. That was the day of the murder."
"Kate," he said, looking up from the paper, his eyes wide with what time and experience had taught her was almost certainly fear, "I didn't write these."
It was definitely fear. She couldn't tell, however, if it was the fear that this gave him motive and that he was looking less and less innocent by the moment, or if it was the fear of being caught.
Or perhaps it was the fear of losing her.
She felt her eyelids become heavy with the weight of unshed tears and tried to blink away the moisture that started to form in the corner of her eyes without her consent.
She loves him.
She lowered her gaze from him, reaching down and pulling another email out of the stack.
Hey Tess, I missed you today. I couldn't stop thinking about your smile, that blouse you wore to that book signing. You've been… very inspiring lately. Are we still on for Wednesday –
A moment passed before she held up another one.
I can't believe I've only known you for 5 weeks: It feels like it's been 5 years. Tess, I'm almost scared to admit it, but I think I'm falling in love with you…
The words had been burned into her memory.
"Kate," he pleaded. He stood up from his spot in holding and took a step forward before he lost the slack in his handcuffs attached to the bench he was sitting on and slammed back down onto the seat. Undeterred, the panic clouding his expression, working its way into every crease of his skin, he reached out, his shaking hand frantically clutching at the chain-linked barrier keeping them apart, trying to reach out to her.
"Kate," he said again, his voice shaking, "I would never cheat on you."
She put the stack of emails back into the folder, and he grew more and more frantic.
"Kate, I don't want anyone else," he whispered earnestly, his eyes filling with tears, "I don't need anyone else. The emails… they have to be fake, Kate. Someone faked them. Or hacked into my email account and I just didn't notice. I didn't write that story. Someone has to be framing me. It's the only way this makes sense, Kate! You know me. I would never do this to you. Kate, I lo-"
"Mr. Castle," a voice said, and the two of them looked up to see his lawyer walking towards them, trailed by the officer she had sent away earlier, "I advise you not to say anything else. Detective," he said, nodding towards Kate, "I'd like to have a private word with my client."
She closed the folder and stood up, straightening her blazer before nodding at his lawyer, feeling a small tear making its way past her lash line. She blinked it back, all the while straightening her spine.
"Please, Kate," he whispered, his fingers tightening around the metal grate, looking up at her with eyes peeled open with fear.
"Please, believe me."