Cold Cases: A Solid Ground Companion


The precinct wasn't the same without them.

For one, things were a lot quieter with out Richard Castle around. She remembered there being laughter in the bullpen, but now everyone seemed so somber, a collective cloud of sadness hanging over all of them. Despite her initial misgivings about the unorthodox partnership, those two were actually one of the best crime solving pairs she'd ever seen. And she truly did miss them. Even Mr. Castle. Detective Beckett may have been a pain in the ass at times, but she was one hell of an investigator, probably one of the best there ever was. Her tenacity and hardnosed determination had made the 12th Precinct Homicide squad one of the NYPD's most effective units. No one could replace her, yet with her missing, they were operating under manned.

Four months had passed since they'd gone missing, and all official search and rescue operations had petered out. The airline company had long since gone into PR damage control and was blaming it on pilot error. In truth, no one really knew what had happened. Miss Castle, however, was still hard at it, refusing to give up. The young woman had a passion and drive that were hard not to admire.

At present, the workload was light, only a few teams had ongoing cases, so Gates had assigned Detectives Ryan and Esposito to review some cold cases during their down timeā€¦ idle hands, and all that. They'd set up in the conference room with several boxes of files and were slowly combing through them. Dr. Parish had joined them to go over the autopsy reports.

"How are things going?" Gates asked, stopping by after making a trip to the break room to get herself a cup of coffee. She may not have approved of Mr. Castle all the time, but she had to appreciate the man's respect for a good cup of joe.

The trio looked up. "Slow," Esposito answered.

"Most of these reports are from back before we typed everything up on the computer," Ryan added.

Lanie inclined her head. "And people say doctor's have terrible handwriting."

"Well, keep at it," Gates said, before ducking back out and marching into her office.

She closed the door, and walked over to her desk, putting her coffee mug down before sitting. She leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes, pinching the bridge of her nose as she took in a deep breath. She was loathed to admit it, but her on the job stress had only seemed to increase once Beckett and her writer had disappeared. It was odd really, since Gates usually blamed her high blood pressure on those two, especially Mr. Castle.

At first, she couldn't understand what it was that such an intelligent and hardworking woman such as Detective Kate Beckett could see in such a man as Richard Castle. But as she observed them over the course of two years, Gates couldn't help but notice how the tension in the detective's shoulders would lessen and she'd smile more when Mr. Castle was around. She had to admit, the man was good for Beckett, even if Gates found him to be an irritating annoyance.

Sighing, Gates rolled her shoulders and leaned forward, picking up her cellphone and thumbing through her contacts. Thinking of the obvious love those two shared made her think of her husband, and the way he'd help her relax. She'd witnessed how a tense and frustrated Detective Beckett could relax by just listening to Mr. Castle weave some fantastical story while assisting the team in building theory. It reminded her of how just hearing her husband's voice could calm her.

She held up her cell to her ear and listened to it ring. He answered within second, as always.

"Hi, honey, it's Vicky," she murmured, smiling slightly. "Yeah. I just needed to hear your voice.

*A/N: Just a little companion piece to SOLID GROUND. The idea came to me after receiving a PM from codedriver. Originally I was going to just insert this at a brief interlude chapter into SOLID GROUND, but didn't want to disrupt the main story by jumping back and forth between the island and New York. So, I decided to post it separately. Each little chapter will involve a member of the 12th.