“I am going to kill you guys.” She pressed a hand to her ear piece as she slithered across the edge of the dance floor, keeping an eye on the entrance to the dark, jazzy nightclub. In a time before she met Castle, she might have been one to dress up in a slinky dress – like the one she was in now – and flirt in a bar just like this. But now, it just made her annoyed; mostly annoyed at the two men in her ear, enjoying her suffering way too much.
“Wait, are you going to kill me?” She rolled her eyes at her boyfriend, also in her ear, who was currently at the other end of the bar taking a swig of non-alcoholic beer like it was water.
She grumbled “unfortunately Castle, I need you so I’m going to settle for killing the two who have been sitting in the van all night while we do all the dirty work.”
It’s like the boys couldn’t take a hint. “Hey, look at that Castle, Beckett finally admitted that she needs you.”
“Ha! You should have heard her last night when she”
“Castle,” she cut the boys off “when we get home, we’re going to have a serious talk about needs and how those needs are going to be fulfilled. Understand?”
He didn’t respond but Ryan and Esposito made a simultaneous noise of disappointment and regret “Sorry dude.” Across the bar, Beckett and Castle’s eyes met and they exchanged a wink before turning back to their tasks.
“Alright boys, pipe down, our suspect just walked through the front door.” He was tall and lean, curly haired and bright blue eyes, wearing a long black leather jacket. He was just as their witness described him. “He stands out so much no one notices as a thing.” Beckett quoted the statement as she began to make her way through the crowd of dancers, gliding up and down each other to a smooth, dark beat.
“You know, Kate, I never thought I’d say this outside of the bedroom but: do your thing.”
She could hear Ryan’s laughter through her ear piece but clenched her jaw to ignore it “that’s funny; I thought the only phrase you wouldn’t say out of the bedroom was” Beckett removed her ear piece, sticking it in down her dress. She began to move to the rhythm of the song, letting the world fall away even as she held her eyes to her suspect, seeing only him. The eyes of several other patrons glanced at her while she moved but quickly lost interest when they saw that the man of the hour had caught her eye and he was clearly interested. He watched her, smiling in this crooked, charming way that held no danger. He knew how to exude charm when all he did was stand there. Lord knows what would happen when she got to him. She was about to find out.
“Come here often?” He murmured like she was the only one in the room.
“Is that your best line?”
“I didn’t think I needed a line to talk to you? I thought we could just talk.”
She continued to dance silently while formulating a response. “This is my first time coming here.”
He stepped in closer – but only because another couple pushed him into it. “Mine too.” Liar, she reminded herself. She admitted that in that time before Castle – before she became a cop even – she would have found this man charming and cute. She would have danced with him just like she was now, swaying her body in time with a rhythm that managed to sync up with her heart beat. This would have been a good place to let loose, it wasn’t too crowded and the people were there to relax, let their guard down.
It was a perfect place to hunt.
The song faded away and invited in another that she didn’t recognize. “I don’t know this one.” He whispered in her ear. “Care for a drink?” She let him lead her off the dance floor to a corner of the bar less crowded, where there was less need for noise. They each ordered some light, neutral drink that would barely give them a buzz.
While they nursed their drinks, they turned their backs to the bar, watching the crowd and glancing at each other. It was all very casual, very natural. “So what made you decide to come tonight?”
She gave him a heated look and sipped before drink before responding. “I thought tonight would be a good night for something new. What about you?”
“Me?” He smirked at this “I was just hoping for a change of pace.”
Beckett lifted her drink “to fate.” He echoed her toast and they each took a sip, falling into silence; but that didn’t last long.
“Hey baby, dance with me.” Castle was suddenly there, seemingly drunk off his ass, moving to an unheard tune and dancing into Beckett’s personal space. Any version of Beckett would have knocked a guy like that on his ass but not tonight.
“I’m not interested.” She tried to smile but it was hard when her boyfriend was stumbling around and reaching out to grope her like he wasn’t her boyfriend. Especially when she turned away from him and he responded by grabbing her waist with one hand while the other held a glass of something dark and rich – what was it, root beer? It certainly didn’t smell non-alcoholic. Whatever it was, she had a flicker of attraction that punched her in the gut at the way he gripped her and pulled her to him. Only Castle could act like a drunken idiot and still turn her on just a little bit.
“I don’t say that was a request.” He started to tug her out onto the dance floor when their suspect stepped in.
“The lady said no.” Somewhere in the back of her head, Beckett scoffed and had the sudden urge to punch out the man defending her honour.
Castle pushed forward again and Beckett recoiled while their suspect pushed back, stepping between the couple. Castle took it as his cue to back off. “Pfft, whatever.” He looked down at his glass before throwing the contents at his girlfriend and walking away. “Bitch.”
Rather than go after the jerk like most guys would have, the man turned to Beckett who wiped at her skin and tried to remind herself that that was her idea. “Come on, let’s get out of here.” He placed a hand on her shoulder and squeezed as a show of comfort while he led her towards the back of the club where there were bathrooms and a back door. He was making his move.
He opened the women’s washroom door to find another couple already in the throes of a drunken one night stand so instead he grabbed a few handfuls of paper towel and ushered her out the back door. “Come on; it’s more private here.” It was private alright; no one went back there unless they had one thing on their mind.
He still came off as caring, wiping down her shoulders and arms with a paper towel while she sniffled at her embarrassment of being treated so poorly by a strange drunk guy. It didn’t take long for the paper towel to stray a little too close to her chest. It took even less time for that caress to turn into a squeeze. She pushed him away but he came back, pressing his body into hers, trapping her against the cold brick wall. His charm seeped out of his skin and crawled away, leaving a leering, hungry man. “Oh come on, don’t resist; it’ll go a lot smoother. Though I saw you looking at that guy, you like it rough don’t you?” His hand fell to her thigh and gripped the material of her dress. Before he could move it an inch, his face was slammed into the brick wall while she pressed into him from behind.
“Thomas Markowski you are under arrest for the rape and murder of Sarah James and Alexis Kale.”
“You’re a cop?” He growled, his face smashed against the cold truth.
“Detective Kate Beckett.” She announced, using her body weight to keep him steady while she fished through the top of her dress, looking for her ear piece. She was met with panicked voices and a little bit of static.
“You were supposed to be watching her, that’s why we stuck you in the club.”
“I’m looking for her. Hasn’t she checked in?”
“No, because someone threw the drink in the wrong place. You were supposed to aim for her stomach so you didn’t hurt any of the wires.”
“We lost her microphone.”
Beckett rolled her eyes and let up from the suspect just a little bit. “Give me a sec.” She pulled the microphone from the top of her dress and shook it, tapping it against her leg a few times before blowing in it lightly. “Boys?”
“Beckett!” She winced at the chorus of boys shouting her name.
“You’re back.” Ryan: the ever observant little puppy dog.
“Where the hell are you?” At least Castle sounded equal parts worried and pissed off.
Thomas, being stupid as he was, tried to make a run for it but Beckett placed her foot out and tripped him without look, placing a heeled shoe to his back while he groaned in discomfort. “I’m in the back ally if any of you would like to join me. I’d like to take our murderer into custody if that’s alright with you.”
“I’ll be right there.” The boys chorused. Sometimes, she swore they practiced.