Here's the first of the follow ups to the teasers

If nothing else, you might have some fun figuring out what happens next.

One thing, I may have messed up the passage of time. I'm recalculating. I may correct or just do it right from the next day. Sorry. Let's go with what I have.

AGAIN: I have no ownership rights or connection of any kind to Castle.

I also have no ownership rights to "The Human Target", "Suits", "Numb3rs", "Bones", "Blue Bloods", "The District", "Justified", "NCIS", or their characters. If I missed one, consider them not mine either.

All reviews welcome. I only ask that you be polite and constructive. And something I can actually fix.

Feel free to point out grammatical, spelling, or factual errors. I do a lot of editing so sometimes cut and paste errors may slip through. Please let me know.

Also, please remember if you ask questions in ANONYMOUS REVIEWS. I have no way of answering back, and I feel bad.

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January 7, 2004 Wednesday (02:15 A.M.)

FOYER , OFFICE OF THE CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER

"This is Francesca Curtis with continuing coverage of the daring break-in attempt at the Office of the Medical Examiner of New York City.

"As you might know, the OCME is the headquarters for the multi-agency Task Force investigating the alleged corruption charges against Dr. John Brinkley."

"Joining me now is the senior State Police representative on the Task Force and best selling author, Lieutenant Richard Castle."

The camera then pans to show Rick.

"Thank you again for making time for us Rick," she says, "Or should I call you Lieutenant."

"You're welcome, Frankie," he replies. "It's Rick, you've known me since we were ten."

She chuckles and gives a flirty smile.

"First, Rick," she begins, "Was tonight's attack aimed at the Brinkley investigation?"

"The Task Force is treating as such until proven otherwise," Rick answers.

"Were any of the evidence damaged?"

"A full review must be completed first before we can say," Rick responds.

"I understand that, though armed, none of seven assailants fired a shot."

"Yes, we were very lucky," Rick replies, "My team apprehended the four outside the main entrance without a fight."

"Now, they were posing as a sewer work crew. How did you spot them as fake?"

"I really can't say," Rick answers, "I'd rather not give tips to any potential imitators."

"Fair enough," Frankie moves on, "What about the other five suspects?"

"Two infiltrated OCME posing as staff," he recounts, "But two people who work there spotted them as imposters and two NYPD officers arrested them after a brief struggle."

"Was anyone injured?"

"The two civilians and the two officers," Rick explains, "But they tell me is just bumps and bruises."

"Well, thank goodness for that," Frankie smiles warmly, "What about the last one?"

"Was a sniper," he replies, "He was wounded our sniper before escaping in a beat up purple Camry."

"Rick," Frankie continues, "As I recall, your team specializes is information technology and data analysis. In fact, your team initially discovered Dr. Brinkley's alleged activities."

"Not on purpose," he replies, "The Department of Health asked us to do an audit on their medicaid billing records, looking for possible corruption."

"And that's why you're part of the Task Force."

"Partially," he counters, "We also develop programs to find commonalities between the hundreds of cases. The detectives on the case then use that to find patterns."

"What kind of patterns?"

"Recently, a contract killer was discovered murdered," Rick explains, "It's not an unusual occurrence in his trade.

"However, a search of his residence revealed he kept a records of his victims, like trophies. It showed all his victims had been examined by Dr. Brinkley.

"Now, the autopsies were all done correctly, but all the murders were conducted using the same unique signature, and Dr. Brinkley failed to take note."

"Is it possible that he just missed the similarities."

"Given the brief time between some of the murders," Rick counters, "Our experts believe he couldn't have been that dense."

"It seems to me someone is covering up their tracks," Frankie notes, "First the attempt on Dr. Brinkley, then the murder of the hitman, and now this. Is this mob related?"

"You know I love a good conspiracy theory," Rick smiles, "But this killer could've been hired by multiple people. We need to be careful.

"It is my hope that our work along with our Local and Federal counterparts, will help investigators will help them find these employers."

"Counterparts?"

"The Information Technology units of FBI and NYPD are doing the heavy lifting," Rick replies, "At this point, we're just the smallest group of nerds in a big pond."

"That brings up a question," Frankie smiles wickedly, "Does your group of nerds normally conduct arrests."

"No," he replies, "Most of my people are fully qualified LEOs, Law Enforcement Officers. But we normally we leave that to others."

"If that's the case," she smirks, "Why were you apprehending suspects tonight?"

Way to pounce. That's my girl. What am I saying?

"We were asked help provide security," Rick explains hesitantly.

"Really, I thought there was a heavy NYPD presence," Frankie counters.

"Not between 12:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.," Rick pretends to sputter, "Private security guards replaced the NYPD's Third Watch until First Watch could take over."

"Why did that happen?"

"Orders from Commissioner Gray's office," Rick explains, "There's a political event for Senator Bracken. The Commissioner wanted them rested and deployed there."

"Did they Mayor authorize this?"

"He wasn't told," Rick takes a breath, "It was very last minute. The orders went directly from Commissioner Gray to the Lieutenant in the Major Case Squad who was in charge.

"No one in the NYPD Chain of Command who should've been informed ,was including Deputy Inspector Sinclair, the head of Major Case. I'm not sure The Senator knew."

"How could he not know?"

"Given the timing, I would think the Senator is asleep," Rick replies, "If the Commissioner thought there was a possible threat, he might have acted on his own."

"Do you think the commissioner would act unilaterally like that?"

"Look," Rick pretends to hesitate, "It's well known, the Commissioner and I do not get along either personally or professionally."

"I did hear that he threatened to dismiss you? Does he even have that authority?"

"You were misinformed," Rick counters, "Actually, he threatened to dismember me."

Frankie barely controls her chuckles.

"So I take it he's not the one who asked for your help."

"And I shouldn't name the person who did," Rick replies, "That person may have had no authority to call in help for NYPD from outside the department."

Yeah, I'm fairly certain Izzy doesn't have the authority to do that.

"If NYPD was pulled," Frankie continues, "Why were there two inside?"

"Luck. They were from Second Watch," Rick explains, "They volunteered to help move some equipment before they left."

"So, I take it all the actual police presence was your self described team of nerds?"

"Pretty much."

"Why does a unit of nerds have a sniper?"

Rick chuckles.

"A number of my nerds are Marine Corps reservists," Rick explains, "It's well known every Marine is a rifleman."

"And the private security people, did they respond at all to the situation?"

"Not until it was all over which, in their defense, was fairly quick."

"Rick, given your team's specialty, weren't you an unusual choice to call on?"

"Given my family's personal stake, I guess they felt I'd be guaranteed to help."

"Does this have to do with the murder of Johanna Beckett, the mother of your new wife, NYPD Detective Kate Beckett?" Frankie asks with a hint of jealousy.

"Yes," Rick answers.

"Is Kate involved in this case?"

"Not directly because it would be a conflict of interest."

"Not directly?"

"Yes," Rick is genuinely nervous, "The Mayor feels that the families impacted by Dr. Brinkley's alleged actions need have had their trust in the NYPD shaken.

"I suggested Kate would be a good choice to act as a liaison and advocate for them, as she's one of them. He agreed enthusiastically."

"She's a homicide detective, and I thought that's something public affairs would handle."

"True, and so, she's being temporarily reassigned from homicide to Public Affairs."

I can never again fall asleep where she can find me.

"I'd like to say this in closing," Frankie says emotionally, "Johanna Beckett was a civil rights attorney who fought for those without a voice.

"She was a role model, mentor, and hero to many young women, myself included. It'll be five years this Friday that she was murdered.

"Her daughter is not only the youngest woman to make detective but has build a reputation for seeking justice and that would make her mother proud.

"This is Francesca Curtis, CNN"

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Afew minutes later, after all the cameras are off and they're alone.

"Thanks again, Frankie."

"You're welcome Ricky," she says shyly, very unlike her, "I forgot how good we were at that."

"Now about this favor I have to do."

"Okay," she draws a breath, "I want one last chance to say yes."

"To what?" Please, please don't let it be that.

"If Kate is stupid enough to make my mistake," she replies, "To walk away, I want you to ask me one more time."

"Frankie…" The blood drains from Rick's face.

"I won't try to wreck your marriage, I promise," she interrupts him, "No tricks. I don't want you like that?"

"Look, you say that now because I'm married, but as soon as…"

"No, Rick," she says sincerely, "I've finally caught up with you. I'm done running, but she hasn't she may never."

"How do you know she'll run?"

"She has the same look of panic in her eyes that I did," Frankie replies, "More importantly. She's not one of us. She's a farmer. She'll never adapt to your world."

"Yeah, I know," he admits.

"But you have to try anyway," Frankie rubs her hand on his back, "But if it doesn't work, just give me chance to say yes. I promise I will."

Suddenly Rick's phone goes off.

"It's Serena, isn't it?" Frankie says, "She probably next door in the chapel."

Rick is briefly surprised but remembers how long Frankie has been in their lives.

"Go, take care of your sister," Frankie says before kissing him on the cheek.

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