Day 11

Title: Day 11
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Castle
Rating: PG
Pairing: sort of none? ;-)
Disclaimer: Not my characters, not my 'verse. I don't get paid a cent to play. Please don't sue and make things worse.
Summary: Castle has a bit of a cold and he's pretty sure Beckett has noticed.
Note: Part of the 12 Ficlets in 12 Days project 2009-2010. Written for smokeycat_430


“And so once they found out about each other, it was inevitable that it would end in confrontation. She saw to it that they would finish each other off. Then she would inherit her husband's account and she would get everything she had convinced her lover to leave her in his will,” Beckett explained.

Castle nodded thoughtfully. “Like a double black widow. Very cunning.”

“And she might have gotten away with it, but she hadn't counted on us finding that second e-mail account.”

Thank goodness his daughter had mentioned something that morning about having to always log her grandmother off the computer before she could sign into her e-mail account. “A pretty simple… hahhh… solution, all things considered.” He scrubbed the back of his hand against his nose, the knuckles rubbing hard against his nostrils. “hah-hah-hahSHOO!” He practically jumped in place at the sneeze.

“Simple or not, we got her. And I'm happy to see this case closed.” Her tone was the sort she used when questioning suspects. And her eyes lingered on him. No… no, they were penetrating him, evaluating him, judging him. But she didn't say anything specific about this sneeze, just as she had not made mention of the dozen or so sneezes that had come before. Or the handful of coughs. Or the about a hundred sniffs he had tried to hide.

Castle didn't underestimate Beckett. He was sure she had noticed them. And it was nice that she wasn't saying anything. But now that the case was over, he sort of wanted her to.

hahhhh…” Another sneeze came upon them. So far, they hadn't struck this quickly. He tried rubbing more at his nose. But, just like before, it didn't help. “hah-heh-CHOO!” He sniffled and turned, pulling a few tissues out of the box on one of the sergeants' desks. He turned his back to her as he blew his nose, then he turned back around. “I'm fine.”

She held her hands up, insisting on innocence. “I didn't say anything, did I?”

“You don't have to. Just that look…”

“What look?”

He laughed. “The one you were just about to give me.”

She looked entirely confused and was about to say something. But then the phone on her desk rang. She pushed past him and dove for the receiver, catching it on the third ring. “Beckett here.” She looked thoughtful, her eyes unfocused. “Really? What a way to go. When did it happen?” She paused, listening. “All right. No, Sir, we'll be there.”

Fascinated, Castle took notice of her half of the conversation. When she hung up the phone, he grinned. “Where are we off to now?

I am off to a new crime scene, and you are off to bed.”


“The CEO of a toy company has been killed, and I have to investigate.” She grabbed her jacket off of the back of her desk chair.

“Well… how did he die?”

She hesitated, then told him, “Impaled by lawn darts.”

Castle's eyes widened. “I always knew those things were dangerous. Sniff! I didn't know they even made them anymore.”

“I don't think they do. No idea how they got there.” She pulled on her jacket.

“Maybe the murderer brought them,” he reasoned.

“Maybe.” She zipped the jacket up.

He grinned with great triumph. “Let's go find ou… hahhhh-CHEOO! hCHOO! Sniff! Find out.”

She turned and put a hand on his chest, and he froze at the touch. “I'm sorry, Castle, but you're sitting this one out.”

“Because of the sniff lawn darts?”

“Because of that cold. I can't have you infecting my crime scene.”

He sighed, frustrated. “It's your fault I caught this cold in the first place. Sniff!  Who plans a stakeout in the middle of winter in a car without a heater?”

She sighed right back at him. “You can't catch cold by being cold, Castle.”

Waving his hand dismissively. “Of course you can. It happens all the time. Sniff! Sniff!

“In novels!” She laughed out loud.

“Yes,” he agreed. He wasn't so sure he liked her laughter. He took the craft of writing very seriously. “Sometimes it's dramatic to have a character fall ill. It's useful if you need to get him stuck in a situation and get found out by sneezing.”

“That's painfully cliché,” Beckett said. “Besides, that's not helping your case about you coming with me.”

He said, quickly, “Oh, but there are other reasons for colds in novels. Sometimes it helps two people get to know each other better. Sometimes that show of weakness endears him to the other character and they finally realize their romantic feelings for one another.”

She stood there, staring at him. He stared back. Neither moved. Neither blinked. Neither even breathed. Their gazes were locked.

Then Castle cocked his head slightly. “I should go home and get into bed, shouldn't I?”

“I'll be at the crime scene. See you in a few days, Castle.”