Trading Places

What if, when our Rick Castle was transported to the AU in 7x06 that other Richard Castle was brought into ours. How would he respond to the realities of his alternate's life?

A/N: For those of you wanting on an update to Reparer, I am sorry, but this plot worm was blocking me, so I just had to get it out. And I say plot worm, not bunny, because it was not cute and fluffy, it has been haunting my dreams and thoughts since I have no idea what prompted it. I may continue this once I get Reparer finished.

Richard Castle came to on a hard concrete floor, and as his eyes began to focus again he saw a woman bending over him, with beautiful hazel eyes and long golden brown hair. His first though was, hello beautiful, but then he realised she was speaking to him.

"Rick! Rick, are you OK? Talk to me. Rick?" She seemed to be very familiar with him, stroking his cheek with her hand. He was wracking his brain trying to place her, while she did look somehow familiar, he had no idea who she was, and that was the first thing out of his mouth once he got his tongue engaged.

"Yeah, where am I? Who are you?" He said, as he slowly sat up – with her help, he was still a little woozy, but then he batted her hand away so he could rise by himself. He had no recollection of how he had gotten into what looked like an abandoned warehouse, or what on earth he was doing here. Last thing he could positively recall, he was heading to his own bed at some ungodly hour of the morning after being hunched over his laptop for hours on end waiting for inspiration to strike.

"Oh, Rick, thank goodness you are awake. You were out for a few minutes, so we better get you checked out for concussion. Does anything hurt? That explosion pushed you through that metal door and I think you may have hit your head."

Richard was rubbing his head, where he could certainly feel a bump forming there, and the skin was tender. But he still had not had an answer to his question, and that was the first thing he needed so he could figure out what the hell was going on.

"Yes, my head hurts, but you still haven't answered my question. Where am I, and who are you?" He looked at her with expectation on his face, only briefly passing his eyes up and down her body. She was definitely very attractive, but her facial expression was surprising. She looked – confused.

"Rick, its Kate. How badly did you hit your head?"

"Kate who? Have we met before? I am sorry, I don't know you. And what on earth am I doing in this warehouse? Did someone kidnap me? That doesn't make sense. Maybe when I was successful during the Storm years, but I wouldn't consider myself a target for anyone now." Richard rambled on, his mouth barely keeping up with his brain trying to come up with reasons why he was here, but Kate had tuned him out, and was staring at him aghast.

Not only was he professing not to know her at all, but he was talking as if his career was over, kind of like when they had first met seven years ago. All she could think of was that he may have gotten hit harder on the head than she first thought, so the best thing for now was to get him seen to by the paramedics, and maybe checked out in hospital. If this was something like temporary amnesia, the best thing was to calm him down, get him into familiar surroundings, and hope he recovered his memories soon. A part of her was anguished, however, because she already missed the loving look in his eyes whenever he looked at her, and with him not remembering her, their normal was even further away than she thought – just when they were getting back onto an even keel again.

She guided him outside to the paramedics, and while they were looking him over she called the boys to update them on the situation. She told them she would be back in the bullpen in an hour or so, but she was sending Castle home. She didn't give them any more details, and they didn't ask which she was grateful for, because she didn't have any more details. Momentarily she thought it was a great joke he was playing on her, as payback for his birthday surprise, but the look in his eyes was genuine confusion and the couple of times he glanced outside the van at her, there was absolutely no recognition. If she knew him at all, she knew Rick was not that great an actor.

Richard sat in the van with the paramedic poking at him, asking him stupid questions, and pondered the last few minutes he could remember. They asked him the date and year, and he got all those right, and his address as well, although he did comment that was his mother's loft now, at which he saw the woman – Kate's – eyebrow twitch. She was beautiful, and acted like she knew him really well – intimately, if he was honest, but he couldn't for the life of him place her in his memories. Maybe all he needed was a good night's sleep, and this weird episode would be over.

When the medics were finished with him, he hopped out of the van to the waiting woman. He was not sure what was going to happen next, but she spoke before he could ask.

"Ok, my name is Detective Kate Beckett, and I am with the 12th Precinct Homicide division. Here is my card and contact details. I think it best if you go home now, and call me if you remember anything." Her face was normal, but he could see something in her eyes that was in contrast to her calm tone.

"OK, thank you Detective. Homicide? Did someone get murdered?" he asked, because he couldn't resist the story. Something flickered in her eyes again, but her tone was calm and business like when she spoke.

"Yes, Mr. Castle. But don't worry about that now. Do you have money on you for a cab?" she asked, and he patted his pockets before he found his wallet. He looked strangely at the contents, like he didn't expect what he found, but then just said "Yeah, thank you".

She waved down a passing cab and put him in it, being careful to allow him to recite the address for the driver and not doing it herself. As she watched it drive off, she played with the engagement ring on her finger subconsciously, twisting it around and around as her brain ran a thousand miles a second about what this could mean for them. What latest complication would throw a spanner in the works of their relationship? She had only just gotten him back; she couldn't deal with losing him again, especially if he was physically right there, but didn't know who she was. But the one thing Kate Beckett was good at was compartmentalising, so she put that into a box in her mind, closed the lid and moved onto her investigation.

Richard pulled up in front of his building and paid the driver, giving only a small tip. He suddenly had more cash in his wallet then he had seen in years, but he wasn't going to squander it, who knew when there may be more. Possibly his mother had given him some money for something specific, and he shouldn't spend it on frivolities. Not that Martha Rogers would ever call anything she wanted to buy frivolities, but since he was now relying on her goodwill, he had to watch what he did. He deliberately blocked out of his mind the photo of his daughter he had glimpsed in his wallet, still with the beautiful flame coloured hair she had when he could still call her pumpkin. He sighed remembering the demise of that relationship, and how it was mostly his own fault. Oh, well, time to face the music.

As he walked through the lobby of the building, the doorman called out a greeting to him, but just was so caught up in his thoughts he just waived his hand and headed for the elevator. Once on the fourth floor, he hunted around until he found his keys, again on an unfamiliar key ring. What on earth had he gotten himself into? He thought again, as he stepped inside. He only got a foot or so inside the door, because after he turned back from closing the door, he was arrested by the sight in front of him. It was a couple of minutes before he found his voice.

"Mother, what on earth possessed you to redecorate again?"