One of Us – Chapter 1 - Aftermath

Summary What happens when Gates finds out about Beckett and Castle's relationship? How does Castle prove his worth to the Captain? Will he be able to stay 12th Precinct or will the partnership be broken?

Set sometime in mid/late Season 5 AU

Disclaimer – even in my wildest dreams I don't own Castle or any of the characters. If I did, you'd see way more than primetime TV allows!
All the other legal stuff applies too.

12th Precinct, 6.35 pm, Thursday

She strode through the bullpen with her face locked tight and seemingly emotionless. Her stern expression brooking no questions or interruption. Barely stopping to open the door, she entered the room at pace, not looking behind she hit the handle to push the door closed, and barely waiting for the confirmation that ensured the door has clicked shut before she yanked the cords to release the blinds. Only then did she release the mask and suck air into her body.

Her hands were shaking. Nothing could stop that. Not the bitterly learnt previous experiences nor the relaxation techniques the departmental shrinks had given them as part of the necessary training they received as sworn officers of the NYPD. She quickly stripped the NYPD duster and vest from her body, depositing them unceremoniously on the long low filing cabinet.

She took far more care with her service weapon. Ensuring the safety was on and the weapon de-cocked, she deposited the SIG P626 with care into the middle drawer of her desk.

Gulping down mouthfuls of air, by instinct she reaches into the lowest drawer and pushes back the apparently haphazard papers and locates by touch the cool, slim, reassuring object. Checking once more that the door is shut and the blind down, she pulls forth the silver flask. It's masculine but not exclusively so. It's a statement especially in such male dominated profession. It says the owner has earned the right to possess it and when the occasion requires take what solace and comfort they can from its contents, regardless of gender.

Her thumb flicks the cap back in a familiar motion, free of conscious action, and her hand lifts the flask to her lips. She tilts the flat base towards the ceiling and the contents glide forth. The liquid is cool but the sensation is sharp almost burning, as it takes a path past her lips and down into her stomach. It doesn't settle the anxiety and hurt that pools in her gut and is flooding her body, but it has to be enough for now.

Replacing the cap, she slips the flask back into the draw, and stands. Taking a moment, she breathes in, no longer gulping, and composes herself.

Striding to the door, she opens the door and steps out into the bullpen. By now the news has reached the precinct and officers are pooling together and sharing the news with concern and shock writ-open across every face. Perhaps not actually hearing but certainly sensing the door open, almost all heads turn towards her.

She runs a steely gaze across the occupants of the room, her eyes and gentle shake of her head conveying the meaning that the news is hers alone to deliver. Having satisfied herself that all present will comply, she strides towards the secure conference room.

Opening the door without knocking, she starts to speak as she halts at the threshold. The four occupants of the room had all looked up from the document strewn table. Two males, two females – three lawyers from the District Attorney's office and one detective.

Holding a hand up to still any speech from the occupants her voice brooks no dissent but nevertheless her first words contain an apology "ADA Denoza, sorry for the interruption".

Before the graying ADA can respond, she turns to the sole cop in the room "Detective Beckett, I need you to come to my office now."

Author's Note - I have updated the chapter to include the location and time & day. This is so it is easily to place in the timeline (hint - this follows Chapter 12)

** UPDATED 3 Jan 2015 **

When I started this story I never planned for it to run for so long or get so detailed. It was a 5 or 6 chapter tale with maybe 8000 words. 65 chapters and 360,000+ words later it's still going. There are 15 chapters remaining so there will be 80 in total.

However, in order to accommodate some critical elements in the story I need fix the timeline so it aligns with the actual calendar for 2012.

Fortunately it hasn't been too arduous with edits only required for Chapters 3, 51, 52, and 57.

The changed text is covered in the notes at the end of each chapter.

If I have missed something please let me know. I do research and try to be accurate but this is a work of fan fiction and I have only visited the United States but never lived there (closest was Calgary for a year when I was 9).

Thanks for reading.