A/N : Thank you so much, everyone, for the great response to chapter 1. On with chapter 2 now, dedicated to Liv Wilder, whose birthday it was, and will continue to be until we reach the end of this story.

Ain't no rhyme or reason

No complicated meaning

Ain't no need to over think it

Let go laughing.

It HappensSugarland

Chapter 2.

She was going to kill him. She, Kate Beckett, homicide detective, was going to kill him dead, and then a little bit more dead for good measure.

It was like after all those years, Castle still didn't realize that she owned a gun and knew how to use it. Frankly, she didn't give him much in terms of life expectancy if on top of means and opportunity, he also provided her with motive.

When he'd called earlier, it hadn't been easy to curb the stream of justifications he had come up with to try and explain the horrendous events that had occurred. He hadn't meant to. The camera might be faulty. Oh, and she was just too gorgeous. That last one might be her favorite – if she was in any way impressed and in a mood to have a favorite – on a par with the reassurance that in the end, everything would turn out alright, he'd see to it.

Uh. Just like him to minimize the life-changing consequences they were bound to face. He'd also apologized, profusely and sincerely, but however sorry he might be, impressed she definitely was not.

Oh, he'd better plead guilty as charged and find a way to extricate themselves out of this situation, because this was all on him. It was his fault and she would not share an ounce of blame over this most unfortunate state of affairs. It was bad enough that he had shared her body with the whole wide world and if it came to the worst, they would both have to face some dire consequences.

Okay, so she had bought him the camera and let him take the pictures in a fit of indulgence, but she had not agreed to this sharing extravaganza at any point. This was solely, exclusively and uniquely his fault and Paula was going to have to spin-doctor a way out of this mess.

"Beckett," she heard suddenly, Esposito's voice cutting through thoughts of her partner's impending death. "Beckett, is everything alright?"

Kate snapped her head up to Esposito's narrowed eyes and noticed with a sinking heart the look of suspicion clearly written across his face.

"Yes, fine. Everything's just fine. Great. Yes," she answered awkwardly, too loud and too fast, she realized, to sound as fine as she was claiming to feel, or to avoid attracting more unwanted attention to herself.

"Hey, Beckett," Ryan chirped in, appearing from nowhere. "We got the pics. I'm gonna go through them and – "

"No!" Kate interrupted, panic lacing through her cry, as she stood up, her eyes frantically searching for photos of herself in the bullpen, but finding nothing.

Oh. They didn't mean those photos, did they? Given Ryan and Esposito's matching expressions of puzzlement and worry, they were probably referring to the photographs that the lab recovered from the victim's SD card after the camera had fallen into a bowl of punch. They needed to identify everyone on the pictures at this costume party where most people had been too drunk to give a remotely useful version of events, and hopefully find the odd sock that would point in the direction of the murderer.

It was just bad karma that their current case didn't help her focus away from her predicament.

"I'm – You –" She stuttered pitifully, motioning with her hand to Ryan's desk. Willing herself to get a grip, Kate took in a deep cleansing breath to fend off the wave of nausea that was threatening to overwhelm her. "You do that. I'll be – over there. Back soon," she finished hurriedly, running in the direction of the bathroom, her right hand covering her mouth.

She might have misheard, and she would most definitely not swear to it under oath, but she thought she heard Ryan's "We've gotta find out what's with Beckett" met by a grunt of approval from Esposito.

Overcrowded, full of disapproving Captains and meddlesome colleagues, a police precinct was the worst possible place in terms of respect of privacy and personal boundaries. Even the sanctity of the toilet cubicles was no deterrent to the most inquisitive. There were precedents.

There were precedents and it seemed to Kate Beckett that, be it in the bathroom, the locker-room or the supply closet, she would never manage to be alone long enough to do a Google search on her phone and find out exactly what parts of herself Castle had flashed the world with.

Ah well.

With Ryan and Esposito on full-on hunt thanks to her own stupid, blundering self, it was only a matter of time until they uncovered the truth, Kate reflected bitterly.

Deciding that hiding in full view was certainly the best option for her purpose, she sat on the edge of a desk and started a staring contest with the murder board. She did have a murder to solve, after all, even if, to her shame, it was the last thing on her mind at the moment. The persons of interest and suspects, all costumed for the party, mocked her with their masks and concealed identities.

She sighed, weary to the bones even though it was before eleven in the morning, as she tried to relax her shoulders, her aching back. Whatever his plans for the evening might include, Castle owed her a massage and then some.

Her writer turned self-proclaimed photographer had assured her the pictures weren't terribly revealing, didn't even show her face at all, but between the fans, the press and a roomful of nosy detectives, could she be realistically so optimistic that no-one would do the math and recognize her?

Squinting her eyes in concentration, Kate let the early morning scene replay itself in her mind. Castle had been bouncing up and down the bedroom, camera in hand, while she'd been standing on her bare legs, focused on buttoning up her shirt. She distinctly remembered he'd shown great dexterity as the deft fingers of one hand had started undoing her work while the other had been snapping pictures of her. Amused, but a little exasperated too, she had flicked his hand off the tiny buttons and done some damage control on her shirt. Late for work or not, if she hadn't, they could well have ended up in bed with the camera on and –

Oh jeez. Castle may actually have a point here. It could have turned out a lot worse. Kate had been lucky she'd managed to cajole (coerce, threaten) Castle into not trying this new toy of his in bed – this new camera.

There were already enough photos of, um, that kind of type. But thank goodness those were hidden in a not so clearly titled folder in his laptop and she had a mind to erase it as soon as she got to the loft. Oh God. No need to tempt the devil, that is, her sweet, loving, annoying boyfriend, any further.

Okay, so her legs and shirt were fair game. Logically, those would show on pictures of herself taken as she was completing her morning routine and getting dressed for work. And then she had tied her white and blue scarf around her neck, draping the elegant silk material over her chest on each side of her shirt collar before –

Oh no.

That striking Etro scarf Castle had given her for their one month anniversary was a distinctive feature if she knew any. She hadn't wanted Castle to splurge on her but he had pleaded his case in such an adorable way that she had relented and accepted the gift, provided this didn't become a monthly habit. Truth be said, the scarf was gorgeous and complemented her simple white shirt beautifully with its balance of white space and flashes of vibrant blue watermark motifs. People had stopped her on the street to compliment her on it and Lanie had been adamant it would look so much better on her as she had almost drooled on it.

Well, that was the heart of the matter, wasn't it? There was no ignoring the little scarf that could. Anyone who'd seen those photos on Castle's Twitter would have immediately spotted it.

As a fresh wave of panic washed over her, Kate moved her clumsy, shaking fingers to the scarf in a frantic attempt at loosening up the knot and removing the silken piece of evidence from her neck. Just as she was battling with it, almost – almost there – she noticed Ryan and Esposito staring at her, their laser vision locked on the trimmed ends of the scarf on her chest, observing her carefully and minutely like they would a suspect. They aimed for her with unrelenting resolve, closing in on her with spine-chilling purpose. A lesser woman would have held her hands up and pleaded for mercy.

Kate Beckett didn't flinch. Well, not that anyone could note. She kept her distress and tumultuous thoughts carefully hidden from the detectives and let the scene in front of her unfold like in slow motion. The game was up. In spite of her unfaltering efforts, Ryan and Esposito had done the math and figured it out, recognized her from the photos. They knew of her relationship with Castle, and if they knew, surely Gates, with her superpowers of deduction, knew too. Gates, who would put her on administrative leave again and kick her partner out of the Precinct for good. Gates, who, incidentally, was currently striding towards them all with a disapproving frown and an air of steely determination.

The Captain of the 12th reached Beckett at the same moment Ryan and Esposito did and Kate crossed her arms over her breastbone, bracing herself for the blow to come as she inefficiently concealed the incriminating scarf.

"Detective Ryan, Detective Esposito," the Captain boomed out. That murder isn't going to solve itself; Go back to your desks and stop ogling Detective Beckett's chest."

Oblivious to the stupefaction painting itself on their features, Gates added, "Detective Beckett, if you want to press charges for lewd behavior, I'll be in my office."

A/N: Did anyone really think the pictures Castle had unintentionally twitted were of the naughty kind? Ohhhhh! ;)

Love to hear your thoughts.