This is an AU and OOC story, I wrote this to my own personal preferences for the fic and created personalities for some characters that differ from canon. There will be plenty of drama and hurt/comfort since those are the genres I love. This is my first multi-chapter slash fic so feedback and constructive criticism is greatly appreciated. Please don't bash, there's no reason to be mean or rude.

Rated M for language, adult situations, violence, and sex.


Beckett slammed her Charger's back door closed once their suspect was inside and looked at her fellow detective over the top of the blue car. "Good job Espo. I'll take him for booking; you go ahead and take the night off."

"Sounds good to me, I'm looking forward to just relaxing," he responded tiredly as his hands slid down his pant legs trying to get the dirt from the alley off the material. Why did suspects always have to run?

"Let's just hope there's not another murder," Castle chimed in. Always one for a new homicide case even he was crossing his fingers that the city would for once just sleep peacefully for at least tonight. It seemed the cases just kept coming lately and after dealing with a double homicide for the past two weeks it was time for a long overdue break.

Esposito shook his head in exasperation and pointed to the writer, "Don't jinx it!" After walking to his own car he slid off his vest and threw it in the back seat before a bar across the street caught his attention. It seemed clean from the outside and not very busy and he could use a drink after the day he'd had. Figuring he deserved a cold one he lifted his badge and the chain it hung on over his head and put it in the glove box before slipping on his jacket to cover his holster and locking the doors on his red sedan. After glancing both ways he made his way across the street and pulled open the heavy and worn wooden door. Once inside he glanced around, it was old but well taken care of and only a few people were seated throughout the space. Stained glass windows adorned the wall facing the street and a piano and pool table sat off to the side of the slightly smoky establishment. With sure steps he walked to the bar and slid onto a stool waiting to be served by the bartender that was so small the bar mostly hid him.

The man behind the counter eyed him wearily before picking up an empty shot glass and setting it upside down on the bar with two small taps. Four patrons, two in a booth and two at the other end of the bar instantly stood and slid on their coats before exiting the dark bar with barely a glance at Esposito.

"What'll ya have?"

Esposito looked around and saw he was the only one left, "Surprise me." The auburn haired man nodded and after a few seconds slid a shot glass forward and crossed his arms, his bright blue eyes never leaving him.

Javier downed the shot and fought off a cough at the intense liquid that was still burning his esophagus. "Any reason in particular you're staring at me?" he asked hoarsely as he cleared his throat. The other man never answered so he sighed heavily and met his gaze, "Look man I had a long day and I just want to relax. We both know I'm a cop, that's why you tipped off your customers but I'm off duty and unless there's a body stashed somewhere I don't really care what the hell's going on around here."

The bartender continued staring for another full minute before finally uncrossing his arms, "Fair enough and considering you downed that Poitín without coughing up a lung earns you enough respect to stay. I'll ask you again, what'll ya have?"

Esposito laughed, "Whatever's on tap is good."

The man grabbed a tall glass and filled it to the brim, the foam lightly cascading down the side, before sliding it to him and walking to the other side of the bar where he grabbed a newspaper and flipped it open. The minutes ticked by comfortably for both until Esposito spoke again, "I've never even noticed this place, kind of nice here. Got a relaxed tavern feel to it."

The bartender peered at him from over the paper with his shockingly blue eyes before turning the page and looking back down. "Been here since mid-nineteenth century."

He nodded appreciatively, "Wow, about the time all the Irish got here. You an immigrant?"

The man huffed and folded the paper before slapping it down and walking over, "You're a chatty one and what's it to ya? Not that it's any of your business but I was born here."

Esposito's eyebrows shot up, "Chill man, just asking. Your accents pretty strong."

"Ma and da were immigrants and I stick with my own. Hard to believe but some people still aren't too friendly with the Irish."

Esposito nodded and held up his empty glass which was quickly snatched from his fingers and refilled. "Whole lot of hate in the world bro, if there wasn't I'd be out of a job." He took a sip before holding out his hand, "Javier Esposito."

The Irishman eyed his hand distrustfully before finally wiping his own on a towel and shaking it, "Ryan."

"First or last name?" Suspicious azure eyes met his and he laughed, "Fair enough, no business of mine. You're not much of a talker are you?"

"Not until I know if you're friend or foe."

A shrill ringing suddenly sounded and after fishing out the cell phone the exhausted detective answered, "Esposito… I've had a couple…I'm good…yeah I'll be there when you get back… It's fine, not your fault." He hung up and rubbed his hands up and down his face tiredly, "What's the damage?"

Ryan told him the total and after settling the tab he watched the man leave the bar with the slight wonder if he would ever see him again.

He didn't have to wonder much because four days later he strode through the door again and as Ryan tapped the upside down shot glass on the counter he sat down. His mocha eyes watched a few people shuffle out but was surprised that a few stayed in a back booth. "Didn't scare everyone away today."

Ryan glanced at the middle-aged trio who were talking in low voices with smoking cigarettes between their lax fingers before looking back, "Some don't scare easy Mr. Esposito."

He grinned and pointed happily, "You remembered me. Just wrapped up a case nearby, thought I'd stop in for a bit."

Ryan poured him a tall glass and set it down in front of him, "So you're homicide right? Who got whacked, didn't read about anybody."

After a healthy pull he shrugged out of his coat and laid it on the bar next to him, "Woman, thirties. Turns out her uncle killed her because she inherited money that should have gone to him but the dad changed the will right before he died three weeks ago. Greed is a terrible thing."

"Ouch."

"Yeah but at least he's put away for good now. Gotta keep the streets clean."

Ryan nodded absently as he flipped through the channels on the tv until pausing on boxing and setting down the remote. He picked out a toothpick from his pocket and stuck it between his teeth as he watched the match intently, half leaning on the bar a small distance away. His eyes unwillingly kept drifting to Esposito as he tried to figure out why this man, this cop, kept coming back. It was blatantly obvious that the patrons here were less than outstanding citizens yet here was this man, who didn't hide the fact he was a police officer, sitting here like everything was fine and dandy.

"Buachaill!"

Snapped out of his musings by the shout he whipped around and after grabbing a bottle of Jameson ran over to the gentlemen in the corner and quickly refilled their glasses before backing away respectfully and returning back to the bar.

Esposito was starting to get a bad feeling about this place, sure it was nice enough but there was a definite hierarchy here which could only mean one thing, power, and people with power were usually involved with the mob. Instantly switching to detective mode he waved over the other man, "How long you worked here?"

Ryan laughed, "Forever. I used to play in the back before I started busing and eventually serving. I grew up in here."

"Siblings?"

He stiffened slightly at the personal question, recognizing this as an interrogation, but still answered, "A sister, you?"

"Two brothers, both live in Cali. So who owns this place?"

Ryan's eyebrows rose marginally as he rested his hands on the edge of the bar and leaned forward slightly, "You don't know? That's… surprising."

The phone behind the bar began to ring interrupting their conversation and Ryan turned to grab it before walking down to the opposite side away from everyone who would be able to hear what was being said. He spoke quietly and his eyes kept flickering to the detective before he hung up and walked back, a nervous air now surrounding him.

Being who he was Esposito instantly picked up on the changed vibe, "Everything cool?"

Ryan nodded jerkily before looking at the empty glass in front of the other man, "So you're all done then?"

The dark skinned man frowned and looked at the pleading eyes of the other man, instantly reading the please get out of here look he was giving. "Yeah, I should probably head home." He threw down a ten on the bar and shrugged on his coat, "Have a good one."

Ryan tucked his hands under his crossed arms and nodded stiffly as Esposito walked towards the exit. "Yeah, yeah. You too."

The detective grabbed the antique door handle and swung it open on his way out, sparing one last glance at the bar where a tall man with black hair was now standing next to Ryan jabbing his finger into his chest as he whispered furiously. Without warning the man's hand suddenly shot out and slapped the bartender on the side of his head, Ryan wincing and stumbling a bit but never making a sound as he took the punishment.

It took everything he had to continue out on to the street.