Disclaimer for the story: I do not own Castle
Warnings: Mentions of torture and suicidal thoughts.
Important long A/N, please read: This is NOT for Beckett lovers. I explore Beckett's actions here and how that affected Castle and I do not paint her in a good light. So please, if you can't stand Beckett being criticized click the back button.
As a writer, I have had to analyze the show more deeply than when I was just watching. For years I was just a spectator of the show and I have to confess that I too was a super Caskett shipper and didn't think twice about their actions. But when I started writing for the show, I started re-watching the show carefully and I started wondering, why was I a Castle shipper again? Why does he stay? This is a very one-sided relationship. Why do they have two measures for their actions? Why when Beckett does something it's either ignored or immediately forgiven while when Castle does the same thing it's something to hold against him not just for episodes but for seasons ahead? And this double measure is not just seen on the show but also in fanfiction, a lot.
I am a woman and there are three things that bother me in the media and culture in general.
1 - that for a woman to be a strong, successful woman, she has to be a bitch. I am sorry, but Beckett does not represent me. Nor do any "strong women" characters who to be strong treat everyone like crap. You know who I like as a strong woman? Maggie Pierce from Grey's Anatomy. She is the chief of cardio at a young age, respected and successful in her field and she is nice. That takes strength, in my opinion, and that is what should be a role model.
2 – Have you noticed how all these strong women are also masculinized? They don't do feelings. They are good at beating people up and if they love a sport it's boxing or some other kind of fighting. I do feelings, I do not like any sports that involves beating people up and I treat people nicely. I believe I am a strong woman and that I don't need any of the abovementioned media image to be strong or successful. So, that strong women are almost always portrayed like that really annoys me. I started avoiding shows that advertise "strong female lead" so I don't get annoyed.
3 – Again, as a woman, I believe in EQUALITY of rights. That means equal rights and duties regardless of color, gender, sexual orientation or preferences and any other kind of things used to segregate people. So, I am deeply offended when a woman is left out of a job because she is a woman. When a woman is sexually harassed or abused because she is a woman. When a man gets an advantage because he is a man and not because he is the most qualified for a job. But on the same hand, I am equally offended when a woman gets a job she is not qualified for because she is a woman. When a man is falsely vilified when there is a situation with a woman in which he is not the aggressor (that one especially gets to me because it makes it that much harder for us women to get justice when the man is the aggressor). I am not saying I am one of those persons who cries fake news every time there is an accusation, but I do believe in innocent before proven guilty and do not condone the exaggeration that has been happening over the last few years where a person ('read man') is condemned by the media and loses everything before the story is even fully known. I would condemn this being made to anyone, not just men. When the reverse happened, and the woman was the one vilified, I was also angry. Like I said, I believe in knowing all the facts, not rumors, before passing judgement on anyone.
I've become radically against radicals! lol.
I believe that the exaggeration of anything is bad. That we need to find a balance between everything. What is happening today is not a balance, it's just tipping the scales to the other side. I believe that is an eye for an eye approach and that leaves the whole world blind. The violence never stops, because we are always fighting each other. So, when I see this glaringly different treatment of Castle and Beckett (and on other shows too) and I can't find a reason other than the man is always to blame, pisses me off because that is not equality. Just as that would piss me off if it was the other way around and the woman was always at fault for being a woman.
Anyway, this long exposition of my belief system is to say that I base this story on that belief system and I try to address what was not addressed in the show. Castle's faults were addressed in the show at nauseum, hers were not addressed at all. So, if you are offended by anything I said in this A/N or if you are offended by Beckett being painted as less than a saint, please hit the back button because I will ignore flames.
I haven't posted in this fandom for almost three years because the last time I posted I was personally attacked because of the show-writers, producers and actors, not what I wrote. I don't care about them and neither should you. We are here discussing the characters and their stories. If you want to leave a constructive, polite criticism to my story and my story alone, you are welcome, but any rudeness at all will be either deleted if anonymous or blocked if signed in. Always remember there are real human beings with feelings on the other side of your screen.
While nowadays I am not the fervent Caskett shipper I once was and don't mind reading stories where they don't end up together, I am a sucker for stories where the wrongdoer grows, changes and manages to repair their relationship with the wronged party. This will not be one of those, Beckett does a bunch of bad stuff, batts her eyelashes and gets forgiven story. There will be consequences and she will have to work to gain Castle's trust back and she will lose some things permanently. But, this will have a Caskett ending. So again, not your cup of tea, that's fine, but please just don't read instead of flaming me.
I hope you enjoy the ride.
Summary: The case with this compulsive liar makes Castle reflect on his life and his relationship with Beckett. A season 8 repercussions story.
Compulsive Liars Anonymous
Chapter 1 – Reflections
Lies, he couldn't stop thinking about lies since they found out their victim was a compulsive liar. Was that her problem? Was she a compulsive liar too? He knew she was lying. He wasn't stupid. He knew she was chasing LockSat despite the fact that there was already some mysterious woman from a three-letter agency chasing LockSat. And no, she didn't tell him this, Vikram did. Her new partner, the one she chose to run after this with. Probably because he would have argued that she had no business going after LockSat. Maybe… he wasn't sure she just didn't like the younger more exotic model better.
She lied to him, looked straight into his eyes and lied about meeting Gates the morning before she left him. And she lied when she left him even when he called her on her bullshit when he mentioned Bracken. She just stood there and lied, easily. And the worst part was, that wasn't the first time she calmly lied to his face. Actually, when she left was probably the first time he realized she was lying. Because before he just believed her, always believed her.
He remembers her saying she chose to believe him about not remembering his disappearance. Translation: she thinks he is lying but will pretend she doesn't. He knows that because he never had to choose before. He either believed or he didn't. When you have to choose to believe, it's because you don't. He had to choose to believe in the story he was fed by the fake Jenkins. He chose to believe him because he killed a man, who was probably part of his crew, in front of Castle to show he meant business and Castle got the message. Leave this alone or the next one might be you or someone you love. So, to protect his family he chose to believe the lie. And that is how he knows the difference. Between believing and choosing to.
And he didn't understand why. He lied a total of three times to her in the seven years they've known each other, one to protect her by omission, and well, he was pretty sure if she had outright asked, he would have probably folded. Not to mention he did tell her of his own volition while she… apparently she would have kept lying if he hadn't found out like she did every time he asked her if she remembered, all those times, she had no problem lying to his face. He lied to her to watch a movie with her and he lied to her about not knowing who Jordan was, and badly, she called him on the lie straight away. Even when he went to meet his father in secret, he didn't lie to her, he stammered a bunch of nonsense but didn't outright lie. And he called her, against his father's wishes. But her, she lied so many times and he always just forgave and put in the let's forget box because if I don't, we're going to fight.
She lied about having to work when she was getting serious with Demming. She lied about hearing his confession of love, several times. She lied about the job in DC, not because he wouldn't support her. For crying out loud, he was her biggest cheerleader, she had to know he would support her! But because sharing her life with him didn't even factor in to her. On that same note, just months before she had lied about Gates making her work Christmas Eve. She could had just told him, he would have understood. Her tradition wasn't anything bad, ugly, unreasonable that she had to lie, and yet she did. Why? So, she wouldn't share her life, like she is still not sharing her life now?
There has never been an us for her. It's still her and her alone and only how things affect her, not anyone else. She lied because she wanted to, once again, decide on her own without having to deal with his feelings or opinions? Because, well, he had to admit. Seven years later, and it's still just her feelings and opinions that matter. His hurt at the way she treated him when she was with Demming, his depression and out right desperation when she disappeared to her dad's cabin and wouldn't talk to him, his heartbreak when she kissed Vaughn and when she was about to leave him for a job – because he knew she was, she said so herself, when she met him at the swings, she had already said yes without asking him what he thought. She was expecting a breakup - his heartbreak when he woke up with two months missing from his mind - his memory which he had always been so proud of being a photographic one and instead of his fiancé, the woman who loved him and should be helping him prove his innocence he was met with Detective Beckett "you better get out of that bed AMA and come prove to me you did not do this or I'll slap cuffs on you" - no, never were his feelings addressed, acknowledged, he just had to swallow them and smile. That was what not only what she, but what their friends, expected and demanded. Lanie's comments proof of that. And he can't even say he didn't know, he did, but he lied to himself, that this was the time she'd change, she'd start sharing her life with him, that he would actually matter, except she never did, he never did and probably never would.
He looked at the pamphlet he had taken from the meeting. There was also a support group for the loved ones of compulsive liars. He looked at the times, there was one starting soon, not far away. He had more than enough time to go. He got up from his desk chair, got his wallet and key and marched out of the PI office.
"First time," someone asked from behind. Castle had entered the room in a small church and had been at a loss of what to do, not knowing where to seat in the circle of chairs in the center of the room.
"That obvious," he smiled at the older woman asking him.
"You brought your own coffee," she pointed at the coffee cup he had in hand. He had stopped on his way over. "First timers do that to avoid the awkwardness of the coffee table," she winked. "Come with me, we don't bite, that's two doors over."
"Guess I'm in the wrong room then," he joked.
"Good, you have a sense of humor, that will help you," she said as she led him to a chair and watched over him until he sat down. He felt he was back in Ms. Ruiz second grade class. Were they related? Ms. Ruiz had Latin origins and this woman was Caucasian but she could easily be her mother.
"I'm Claire and you?" she extended her hand.
"I know, but I'm polite and we're supposed to be anonymous."
He cringed, would the fact that he was here be all over Twitter?
"Don't worry, you are not the first famous person to join a support group nor will you be the last. The anonymous part is very respected. Especially in a group such as this, no one here is happy to be here," she simply said sitting next to him and he nodded.
"It's my wife," whaaat? Why did he say that? Was his coffee spiked with truth serum? Was there something in the air?
"My son," she responded.
The woman had powers! He had intended to come and listen, not spill his guts but that is exactly what he had done.
He had heard stories and with each story he could see Kate. He could see the big and small lies she told. How sometimes she didn't have to lie at all, but he'd find out later she had. Like the one time she was meeting Alexis to talk and she lied to him, for what? Yes, granted, he'd be curious, but he'd been plenty curious before, like her dinner with Meredith and after she said she wasn't going to spill he stopped asking. No, he found out because Alexis mentioned the place they had met thinking he had known of the meeting one time they were discussing where to go, and Kate had her deer in the headlight expression.
And when the coordinator asked him if he wanted to share, he couldn't hold back. He told them the whole story of Castle and Beckett from the very first case (editing national security stuff, of course and minding the time limit, which he ended up exceeding). And somehow, he felt like he wasn't crazy. These people didn't roll their eyes and just say he had to trust Kate, or remind him that once upon a time he had been a playboy so he couldn't complain. Quite the opposite, Claire, who seemed to be wiser than her years, asked him why he had stayed so long in an abusive relationship.
"Abusive," he snorted. "Isn't that exaggerating?"
"No, she is right," Mike, the coordinator asked. "This is an emotionally abusive relationship. She mistreats you, then when it looks like you are leaving, she gives you a little bit of comfort, of care, and then she mistreats you again. She beats and then kisses the hurt, and then beats again. Don't limit yourself to thinking of abuse as physical. Tell me something, you have a daughter…Put your daughter in your place and Kate in her boyfriend's place. If she came to you and told you everything you just told us. Of how he was treating her, what would you do?"
"I'd kill him, and no one would find the body," he answered instantly and then said, "Oh…"
Mike smiled as he saw realization show on Rick's face, "As a society we tend to have a harder time accepting when the man is abused. We are used to thinking of the man as domineering and the woman as victims. But that is actually being prejudiced towards women. Just like they have the same capacity for success as men, they also have the same capacity for cruelty."
Rick nodded pensively trying to digest the revelation. He had never thought of himself as abused. Yes, he was upset that his feelings never seemed to count but he never thought of her actions as abusive. After Mike concluded the meeting, Rick approached him and asked what he could do. Mike suggested that in addition to the meetings, he see a professional. Rick nodded and asked if he knew someone. He didn't want to go to Dr. Burke. The last time he went to him, he felt he had to defend himself, as if Dr. Burke was someone else who would blame him for leaving Kate. But he needed help. Kate may have never physically harmed him, but the emotional abuse was constant.
Did he have the strength to leave? Rationally he understood what Claire said, that this wasn't good for him, but he loved her so much. He had never understood battered women who didn't leave their husbands but now he did. He was an emotionally battered husband and he was torn, knowing he should leave but not wanting to let go of the woman he loved.