Rick finds out about Kate's interview a few days earlier and decides it's time to stop pretending.

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LaGuardia Airport

Terminal C

Queens, NY 11371

Monday, 13 May 2013, 6:00 A.M

Kate Beckett looks at herself in the airport bathroom mirror. She then straightened her dark blue pantsuit and adjusted the collar of her light crème blouse.

She checks her minimal make. It didn't need any touching up yet, and her hair bun was still neatly in place. She looked down and checked her signature heels, no scuffs.

The little ritual is as much psychological as it is practical. She'll repeated when she gets to Washington, and again when right before she goes into the interview. It helps her feel in control when everything seems out of her hands.

She counts herself lucky that Rick's been holed up in his office at the Old Haunt since Wednesday, writing.

If she had to face him, she's sure she would break down and confess."

"You've done it again," she tells herself, "You lied to him again. This time you have no excuses other than you didn't want a big scene if it's all for nothing.

"He wouldn't keep something like this from you. Why are you so afraid? He's not going to break up with you over wanting to explore your options.

"It's just an interview. There's no reason to get him upset and have a fight over that, and it's not about him. This is about you. This is about your life.

He can't understand what it's like for you. He had a lifetime of success before he was 25. This is your opportunity, your chance to do more.

And it's not like it has to end your relationship. He can write from anywhere. New York isn't that far away. He can visit Alexis and Martha easily and vice versa.

Hypocrite, you're planning out his choices, just like Will tried to plan yours. But it's not the same thing, and I probably won't even get the job.

"Liar, if they turned you down, you'd do everything possible to show them their wrong. No one rejects you; you reject them."

"I just need to focus and get through the interview. Everything else will work itself out. Besides, it's too late to just turn back. What is it mom would say, Alea iacta est…the die is cast"?

She's been having the same conversation with herself for days. Each time, she's added a new rationalization and convinces herself a little bit more.

It ends this time when she hears her flight called to board. She picks up a copy of the New York Ledger to read on the flight as heads for the gate.

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Gates Family Home

Staten Island, New York, NY

7:00 A.M.

Captain Victoria Gates, NYPD, a well-dressed, attractive African American woman in her early fifties sits sat at her kitchen table reading the New York Ledger.

Her husband, who had pointed out the piece she was currently reading, was standing off in one corner waiting for the inevitable.

As she read, her hands fisted the edge of the newspaper ever more tightly so even the jaws of life might not have pried them loose. Then they began to shake.

"I'LL KILL HIM!" she practically grows slamming the pages down, "I'll kill him bad! I'll kill him two times!"

"Now, honey, you're not going to kill someone."

"He's not someone," she seethes, "He's a smirk on legs. He's unbearable! Two years of being a pain in the ass and now this. Richard Edgar Castle, RIP."

"Now, Vic..."

"And listen to this," this: " she picks up a page, "Gates continues trying to belittle, sideline, or eject Castle, but he seems to find her antics amusing. They do remind me somewhat of Yosemite Sam chasing Bugs Bunny."

"Now, Victoria," he tries to sound calm and soothing, "The column makes clear why you can't banish of him again."

"I'm not going to banish him," she responds, "I'm going to kill him, revealing an unsuspected vicious strain in my psychological make-up."

"Unsuspected?" he reacts then withers under her glare, "He didn't write the column, Larry Brown did."

"I know, he's next," she glares, "But where do you think would Brown get this information?"

"Judging by the article," he replies without thinking, "The Police Commissioner, the Mayor, and a good chunk of the NYPD hierarchy."

"Before she could scream at him, cell phone goes off.

"GATES!" she practically screams into it, "Oh, Detective Baker. Sorry about yelling…I've been having issues with my phone…the Commissioner wants to see me…today…yes…I'll be there."

As she hangs up, all anger and blood seem to drain from her face.

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Delta Airlines Flight DL5711

Enroute to Washington D.C.

7:10 A.M.

Kate Beckett finished reading through Larry Brown's column in the New York Ledger a second time in the irrational hope it would be different.

The first time she wasn't sure which shook her up more, all the information about her boyfriend and partner that she never knew, or the fact that it implied she was referred to as the Inspector Lestrade to Ricky's Sherlock Holmes novel.

She almost dismissed it as junk journalism, but she knew Larry Brown. He'd been a crime reporter and columnist for over thirty years and a cop before that. His reputation with the NYPD and public for integrity, fairness, and accuracy was stellar.

Now that she finished the second go through, all she could think was what if the Attorney General's Task Force people see it?

She even pulled her phone out of her purse to call Castle, but the flight attendant reminded her she had to keep it turned off.

She could wait, it wouldn't much longer though it would likely feel like an eternity. Patience is not her strong suit.

The wait does however allow her to focus on a memory from the early days when Castle has just come on, after their second case, "Nanny McDead" as he called it.

"You guys seem to have a lot more paperwork than I remember," Rick Castle says from the chair he'd placed next to Beckett's.

"You remember?" Kate gives him a sarcastic look, "Recalling your rap sheet?"

"More like my well spent youth," he smiles, "Giving a sly smile to older uniformed Sergeant passing by chuckled.

Before she can think about his choice of words, Captain Montgomery comes out of his office at full steam.

"Someone just made an attempt on the Police Commissioner," he gets out, face ashen, "A drive by with a shogun."

Kate knew Roy and the Commissioner go way back. Frank Reagan had been his training officer.

But it's the writer who jumps up first.

"How bad?" Rick asks, face deadly serious.

"Don't know," Roy replies, "Bob says they're taking him to Saint Eligius".

Rick grabs his coat heading to the elevator at full speed, leaving Beckett, Esposito, and Ryan staring after him, stunned.

"You three," Roy points at them, "Get him down there, lights and sirens, and no questions."

"Sir, but…" Kate speaks.

"That sounds like the beginning of question," Roy gives a glare that could sink a battleship.

"No, sir, it isn't," Kate is smart enough to back off.

The ride down to the hospital is passed in relative silence. Espo tries to say something a couple of times, but Rick just stares him down silently from the front seat.

When they arrive, Mayor Weldon and his detail is already there along with some others.

"Rick!" a beautiful woman with shoulder length auburn hair and body to easily rival Beckett's calls to him.

He rushes to her and takes her in a tight embrace.

"Who's the supermodel?" Espo snarks.

"That is Assistant District Attorney Erin Regan-Boyle," Kevin replies, "The Commissioner's daughter."

"Oh," the Hispanic detective replies, "Well, they seem pretty chummy."

"I heard they used date in high school or something," Kevin adds, "I guess he's still close to the family."

"I'd say," Kate replies, confused, "The older gentleman giving him a hug now is the Commissioner's father, former PC Henry Reagan."

"Looks like our boy's more connected than we thought," Espo responds.

Three watched as Rick and Mayor Weldon went up with the Reagan family.

Rick wouldn't even discuss that night after that, or why he was missing from the precinct for the next few days.

He only returned after the shooter was apprehended trying again at the dedication of the John Jay Atrium to the PC's late son Joe which Rick was also was attending.

She doesn't know why she didn't ever ask. The way Roy laid down the down the law was enough for Javi, Kevin, and the rest.

But even so early, she didn't want to hear about it. If she were being honest with herself, she didn't want to hear about Erin Reagan who was both incredibly beautiful and 'real' like Kyra. Even that early on, she had jealousy issues.

She didn't even delve when she learned Alexis and Erin's daughter, the PC's granddaughter, Nicky Boyle were close friends.

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Office of the Police Commissioner

14th Floor

NYPD Headquarters

1 Police Plaza Path,

New York, NY 10038

7:15 A.M

Abagail Baker, an attractive 28-year detective with blond hair sits at her desk outside the Police Commissioner's door.

She's his primary aide, the gatekeeper. No one speaks or meets with Frank Reagan without going through her, and surprise visitors are the worst because they often put the boss in a bad mood, but there are exceptions.

Walking up to her desk is a beautiful 5' 5" young woman with bright red hair in a high ponytail and pale blue eyes dressed simply in jeans and a Columbia University polo shirt, carrying her book bag.

"Morning Detective Baker," she greets cheerfully, "You think I can steal a few minutes of the Commissioner's time?"

"For you, he'll always make time," Baker smiles, getting up to give her a hug, "And I've told you a million times, it's Abagail."

"Thank you, Abagail" Alexis blushes as Baker goes into the office.

A moment later, Baker escorts Alexis Castle into see NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan who is walking towards her with a giant smile on his face.

"Alexis!" Frank exclaims as he pulls her into his 6' 2" frame in a giant bear hug, "This is a nice surprise."

"Thanks Uncle Frank," the young woman says smiling.

"Thank you, Baker," Reagan nods to the detective who leaves closing the door.

Frank directs her to the sitting area where she sits on the leather sofa while he takes the matching chair catty-cornered to it.

"Remember the I did on report on him when I was twelve?" Alexis points to the 1904 Portrait of President Theodore Roosevelt hanging on the far wall.

"Oh yeah, that A+ had you celebrating for days," Frank beams proudly.

"I seem to remember the Police Captain who helped me was equally proud," She chuckles.

"Hey, others went for the easy stuff," Frank responds, "President, War Hero, or even Governor, but my Goddaughter wrote on when he was President of the Board of Commissioners for the NYPD.

"The man practically reinvented the department turning it into a modern police force like the Sûreté or Scotland Yard.

"And as one of his last acts Governor, before becoming Vice President, he pushed through legislation to create a single commissioner, my job."

"I remember Uncle Frank," Alexis gives me look, "I wrote it."

"Brilliantly too," he replies, "You inherited you father's gift."

"It was fun," Alexis smiles, "Especially the part about how much you two looked alike."

"Now don't start that again," he smiles broadly at her.

"Come on, Uncle Frank, you could be his reincarnation."

"Teddy was a few decades younger in that picture," then taps his rounded frame eyeglasses, "And I've never been a fan of pince-nez eyewear. Don't tell me it's the mustache."

"And the imposing build even if you have six inches as you like to remind us," she replies, "But I think it's mostly in the eyes. You both radiate a certain overpowering righteousness and incorruptibility."

"Why do I feel like I'm being buttered up," he responds.

"Would you rather I say," she smirks, "That growing up, I though you looked like the guy from 'Magnum, P.I.'?"

"Please, your Aunt Mary teased me enough about that back in the 80's."

"I miss her," Alexis smiles sadly, wistfully at the mention of her Godmother.

"Me too, and I also wish she could see how you turned out," he replies, "So, how are you?"

"You mean even after my ah…. second impromptu trip to Paris," she replies.

"Please don't joke," Frank says taking both of her hands in his.

"Okay, you guys have to realize I'm not going to just shatter," she responds, "Nicky still calls a couple of times a day to check on me."

"Trust me kiddo," Frank chuckles, "Somewhere Mary is calling me all kinds of Irish expletives for letting you out my sight.

"We were all wrecked when you were taken. Pop, Danny, Jamie, and I didn't know whether to yell at Rick for just running off like that or for not taking us along."

"You know he'd never ask," Alexis shakes her head sadly.

"I just don't understand why…"

"Why wouldn't he lean on you guys more?" Alexis completes, "Come on, cops and feds still can't sit down after the fires lit under them."

"You know what I mean," Frank gives her a look, "He's family and loved. He reminds of Jon Snow, afraid to cross a line by asking for too much, terrified he'd be rejected."

"Did you just reference 'Game of Thrones'?"

"Well, you and Nicky won't stop talking about that show," he chuckles before turning serious, "Have you ever had that fear, like your dad?"

"But it's different for me," she replies, "I've known you guys since I was born. I remember Aunt Mary wanting to go after my mom with meat cleaver for stealing me off to Paris for lunch."

"Yeah," Frank chuckles, "I thought we'd have to run Meredith out of town for her own safety. Luckily, she took off before it came to that."

"Aunt Mary took her Godparent role very seriously," she chuckles.

"As do I," he replies seriously, "At least when you were six, we knew it was your mother, where you were, and that she'd eventually bring you back. But this time."

"I think we should get to why I'm here," she smiles, changing the subject, "And yes, I was buttering you up."

She pulls out a copy of the New York Ledger pointing to Larry Brown's column.

"Where's my dad and what are you two up to?" her face gets serious.

"Don't tell me you misplaced him," Frank replies deadpan.

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This story is actually a redo of my earlier one, "No More Playing Dumb".

When I was writing that story, my doctor had placed on medication to which I ended up having adverse reactions. It not only affected my mental faculties, but it also was seriously damaging my kidneys. It cost me my job and put me in the hospital for a week.

Anyway, over the following months, I began to rethink and reimagine the stories and feuds I had during the initial writing.

First, I have not changed my opinion of Castlefan6 as an individual and as a writer. I just don't read his stuff anymore, write and let write.

Second, this story could be considered a crossover, but I've found there is far less interest on that side than single topics. Besides, I don't limit myself to only two fandoms.

If you're going to steal, don't limit yourself.