Ripped by Beastfan

It had been over a week since Kate had seen Castle. Ten days since she had said she just needed some time to think. She had finally retrained herself not to glance up every time the elevator chimed. After all, she never used to notice. And Castle had said he was not chasing her.(Right. When had he ever left her alone for long?)

Too bad she didn't look up from the file on her desk. She might have been prepared for the red-haired tornado that descended on her.

"Detective Beckett".

She turned in her desk chair. "Oh, hi, Alexis. What can I do for you?" Her welcoming smile was slapped from her face the next second.

At the sound, Esposito and Ryan's heads popped up.

"What the hell?" Esposito gasped as he started to rise from his seat. Ryan grabbed his arm.

"Whoa, there. Let Little Castle say her piece - she deserves it. Besides, do you really want to tangle with a redheaded Irish girl with a mad-on? Would've thought you had better self-preservation."

Esposito didn't respond, but he did sit back down. Neither man had been happy with the latest turn of events between their friends, and it would appear neither was Castle's daughter.

Kate lifted her hand to her cheek, too stunned for an instant to speak. When she took a breath to counter the attack, Alexis pointed her finger at her and gritted out, "Shut up! You're going to listen. What the hell were you thinking!?" Her hands were fisted as though she was trying to keep from striking the older woman again. "You! Oooo! I'm so angry I can't even speak!"

She began to pace, stopping every couple of steps to throw another scathing retort. "How DARE you? You told my dad he was you one and done. Do you even know what that means? Or is he just another in your long line of fuck buddies? Just another guy stupid enough to fall for you?" Her voice became simpering, "Oh, poor, pitiful me! Make me feel special and I'll give you a piece!"

Ryan mouth was hanging slack; his hand was almost to his mouth with a piece of the popcorn he was snacking on. Who would have thought such language could come from Alexis Castle! Kate Beckett was getting a dressing down the likes of which he had never seen.

Esposito's eyes were huge. Having seen his share of "correction" in his time in the Army, he had to admit she was pretty good for a beginner.

They both jumped when another desk chair rolled up to theirs. "I've always heard about a red head's temper, but I've never seen anything like this! Glad I'm over here," Captain Victoria Gates commented as she settled in to watch. She was very pleased Alexis was setting her detective back on the straight and narrow - hopefully.

"Sir!" Ryan croaked, "If you want - I mean, maybe we should - you know - stop her..."

"No, no. No, no. Let her say her piece. Sometimes a good dressing down can help you take the blinders off so you can see the effects of your own actions." She reached into Ryan's bag and popped a piece of popcorn into her mouth.

Nodding, the two men turned back to watch the drama unfold.

Kate finally found her voice. "Wait just a minute! You have no right..,"

Finger pointing at the detective's face again as she stopped her pacing, the young woman responded, "I'm gonna smack you again if you don't shut up! I'm not done yet!"

Gates leaned toward Esposito, "I detect a bit of Dr. Parrish there," All he could do was nod his head.

Kate's mouth dropped open in shock. Who was this girl and what had she done with Alexis? Castle could have told her. Alexis didn't get really angry often, but when she did she was a force of nature.

"How dare your stomp on his heart! Just how many times do you think he can take it? Oh, right, he doesn't have one!" She waved her hands around. "He's just a playboy out for what he can get! Well, why not? No one has ever really cared two cents about him except for what they could get. Kyra left when he proposed," Alexis began ticking off her examples one by one, "and never looked back from what I can see."

"Then there was my mother. Did you know his divorce lawyer insisted on paternity testing? She had been cheating on him since before I was born! They weren't completely sure I was even his! But does anyone think how it stings when people say, 'Gee, Castle! Are you sure she's yours? She's so smart!'? No!"

Alexis was pacing again. "Gina? She was nice to him and he was SO lonely. You want to know why I act older than I am? I overheard him say how much he missed, " she finger quoted the words, " 'adult conversation'. I might have been young, but I understood and tried to help. In the end, he just wasn't enough for her - again!"

She stopped, crossed her arms, looked at a scene only she could see and said softly, "So he gave up on the true love thing. I mean - why wouldn't he? Three women he loved all made it clear he just didn't make the cut." She whirled back to Kate, her anger back, "Then he just had to meet you. Those other women he dated? When they cheated, lied, used him, it wasn't a surprise. That was the kind they were: tramps if you want to be honest."

" But you, you were respectable, " she practically spit the word, "A cop, a daughter of lawyers. " The sarcasm was dripping from her lips. "You were different. And Lord help you, you made him feel again. And for what?"

Alexis looked her straight in the eye, "You're no different from the rest."

Kate sat, her face white from the pain of the words thrown her way. Her mind seized up, her limbs frozen. She didn't notice the girl motion to a very uncomfortable looking deliveryman standing by the elevators. Nor did she notice him headed her way with a hand truck loaded with 3 boxes.

"Thank you," she said, handing him a tip. "Dad left me instructions before he left," she informed Kate. "This was number 2 on the list - Here is everything you've left at the loft; what you do with it is your problem"

Her throat finally loosening, Kate managed to stammer, " Wh...What?...left? Number2? What does that mean?"

Looking at her with disdain, Alexis said, "Number 1 was to pack up his office - ALL Nikki Heat items went to a charity auction for "Children Need to Read". Notes, artwork, his copies, galleys, everything. All photos not of him, me, or Gran were to be thrown away."

Kate flinched at the raw look on the girl's face. This could not be happening; this had to be some sort of nightmare. Any second she would wake up in her bed.

"Number 3," she continued relentlessly on, "Contact the dealership and put the Ferrari up for sale." (Ryan and Esposito gasped at that one). "Number 4: have his lawyer arrange to rent the house at the Hamptons. "

"I don't understand! Why?...What..." Kate stumbled over her words. She couldn't connect the thoughts together.

"Yeah, well, why should you care? One of the last things he did was get a jewelry box out of his desk drawer and take it out on to the balcony. He said something about maybe someone would be happy, then he threw it as hard as he could."

Kate wrapped her arms around her stomach as it clinched. She squeezed her eyes shut, wanting Alexis to just, please, stop talking. Stop twisting the knife in her gut.

"The last time I saw or spoke to my father was two days ago. All he said before he left was he would call me when he got where he was going. Then he walked out. All he took was a backpack. I found his instructions on his desk with his laptop and his phone."

"Wait, his phone? I've never seen him without it." Kate was becoming more and more concerned. Rick always traveled with his laptop and a large suitcase. Where could he be going with so little?

"Oh, now you're concerned? Don't bother. He left me a burner phone. Told me he would get in touch. Old jeans, t-shirt, you know how long it's been since I've seen him go for more than a day without shaving? He looked like it had been a week. He kissed me on the forehead, told me he loved me and that he would be in touch."

"Alexis," she whispered, "I'm so sorry."

"Save it for someone who cares. If I never see you again it will be too soon." She started walking away, but stopped and turned. The small spark of hope died in Kate's chest as the girl said, "Good day, Espo, Ryan, Captain Gates." Then she turned and walked determinedly toward the elevator.

Ryan whistled softly through his teeth, amazed at what he had heard.

"Well, show's over," Gates stated as she stood. "Detective Ryan? Detective Esposito? I think your partner may need some help getting those boxes home. While you're out go ahead and get some lunch. I'll see you about 1:30. Just you two. I won't be looking for Detective Beckett the rest of the day." She walked back to her office and shut her door.

The two men nodded before walking over to Beckett's desk. They each took an arm to help the shell-shocked woman to her feet. Both had to wonder if she would ever be the same again.