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24 June 2010 @ 06:37 pm
Fic: Determined Spirits 6/6  
A V-Castle Crossover
Beckett/Demming (John May)



Previously:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five



Chapter 6


Castle let them in to his place. From the entrance Tom could see a wide open space with the kitchen area to the left, and a living area with big windows open to the city as dusk swept across the buildings. It gave him the same feeling as the Atrium on the ship with its view of the interior core. He didn't mind cozy human spaces, but wide halls and open rooms seemed more restful.

"Come in," Castle greeted them, managing not to look too disappointed to see Tom following Kate in.

There was a teenage girl with long reddish hair and a friendly smile standing there as well, already wearing a coat. She gave a hug to Kate and then turned to Tom and her eyes widened a bit.

Castle introduced, "Detective Tom Demming, my daughter Alexis."

"Pleased to meet you, Alexis." He smiled at Alexis, who stared and ducked her head, looking embarrassed.

"Hi, Detective Demming," she answered, glancing up at him shyly, then her eyes flickered with a realization and she turned to look at Castle and say in a tone of outrage, "Dad!"

He looked a little sheepish under her regard.

Tom watched and grinned. She was so adorable.

"She's on her way out." Castle explained hurriedly, to cut off any potential questions, and slung an arm over her shoulder and coaxed her to the door. "Have a good time, sweetheart."

"Sure, Dad." She gave him a hug, glancing at Tom over Castle's shoulder with a smile, and then left.

They had such a close, obviously loving relationship, and it was beautiful to watch. He wished he was jealous of it, but all he could do was stare after her and wish vainly that he had a relationship like that with Lisa.

Castle noticed he was still looking her way, said, "She's way too young for you, Demming."

He started. "What? No! Oh my goodness, no. I was thinking about my daughter."

"Daughter?" Castle and Beckett said it simultaneously.

"You have a daughter?" Beckett added. "You didn't mention her."

"She's with her mother," he answered. "I haven't seen her since she was little. She'd be about Alexis' age." And she likely didn't know he was her father at all.

Castle frowned. "You don't have visitation?" Implicit in the question was 'what did you do to deserve that?'

Which irritated him, because the only thing he had done to deserve it was try to do good, and he explained shortly, "They don't live in this country." He saw the moment the reason dawned on Beckett's face about what he was talking about, and she cut off Castle before he could indulge his curiosity some more.

"C'mon, Castle, do you have beer so we can work this case, or not?" she asked, heading deliberately for his kitchen area.

Castle got them drinks, still shooting curious looks at Tom.

They were gathered around the kitchen island, and Tom was trying the salsa, when Castle asked, "So, about Berger's shooting. Esposito told me CSU found blood on the bullet."

Tom paused, keeping his face blank. If they tested the blood they might find something more than human in it, but most probably no one would bother, since it was clear who it came from. "Yeah, turned out it grazed me. Why?"

Castle shrugged with an innocent, puzzled look on his face. "You didn't notice?"

Tom shrugged. "Not 'til later. I thought it had burned me." The salsa was good but the tortilla chips were unpalatable. Why the hell did a man with Castle's money have these over-processed, preserved ones? Disappointed, he moved on to the peanuts, searching for something he would like among the snacks Castle had put out.

"We're here to discuss the robbery, not Tom getting shot at," Kate said firmly. "I've been through it three times with IA. I'm done. Where are the files?"

Castle passed the papers around. "These are e-mails. This stack are all the payouts from the account that paid Berger. And this stack traces the sources of incoming deposits."

Kate took some and shoved the rest to Castle. "Check for large sums coming in and going out, especially to accounts here in the States. They would've needed some kind of seed money or a deposit."

Tom pulled the e-mails to himself. "Let me see if any names are familiar to me. I know a few shady collectors and fences."

They all set to work with pens and paper for notes and highlighters for marking things of interest. Unfortunately, Tom didn't find any obvious names and had to go back through to read the e-mails.

Tom wasn't the only one who was glad to hear the phone on the wall beep, promising a change from the tedium. Kate stretched out her back and let out a breath.

Castle popped off his chair. "I believe dinner has arrived. Just wait," he promised them, "I got Luigi's on 37th to deliver to us. I figure everyone likes Italian, right, Demming?"

"I'm not a big fan of pasta, but I'll eat it," Tom answered and smirked at Castle. "I'll say extra nice things about you while I'm working off all the carbs."

He could tell by the smile on Kate's lips that she was remembering the mouse. The revelation that her boyfriend was an alien and ate rodents for treats had gone much better than he had expected. He doubted all human women would be quite so understanding though.

Castle opened the door to accept the delivery. "Here's the--" After a brief pause, he demanded, "Hey, where's the food?"

Tom's head snapped up as a familiar scent touched his nose. He stood up and headed for the door. Kate noticed his reaction and followed.

The "delivery" man slammed Castle into his own door, hand on his throat. "Tell me what you know of John May."

"What? Get off! You idiot, I have two cops here -- " Castle said through his strangled throat.

Tom used the command voice, ordering, "Release him!"

Reflexively the worker obeyed. And as soon as Castle was free, Castle punched the attacker in the face. It barely rocked him and then Castle was flung by the neck and jacket into the kitchen.

"Castle!" Beckett cried, but she didn't move to tend him.

The attacker ignored her and turned to smile when he saw who was there. "John May. You're alive. Anna will be pleased." He stepped nearer to Tom and warned in cold threat, "If you fight me, I'll kill them both."

Tom glanced at his holster, which was next to his suit jacket on the couch, wishing he'd never taken it off. Damn it. He didn't want to fight in front of Kate or especially Castle, but this one was probably a tracker-guard and he wasn't going to be convinced to go away whether Tom had his gun or not.

The guard reached into his pocket. A gunshot cracked through the air and he staggered, red blood blooming in his lower torso. Beckett was in a firing stance, her gun unwavering. "Get back, you son of a bitch."

A small glowing sphere dropped from the guard's hand and fell to the floor. It was a comm device, and the glow meant the connection was open. He was out of time.

"Kate, destroy it. It'll bring others!" As he shouted, he moved, rushing the guard and shoving him back through the door, across the corridor, and into the opposite wall.

The agent hit him, hard in the ribs. And tried to punch him in the face, but Tom ducked aside and slammed his elbow into the back of his enemy's neck.

Tom felt the fighting rage rising and fought it down. Not here. They couldn't fight here where anyone might see or where Kate or Castle might be in danger. He spun free of the agent's grabbing hands and sprinted down the hallway.

He pushed through the emergency stairs, the agent only a half step behind. He leapt down the stairs three at a time, using the banister to pull himself through the turns, moving on pure instinct as fast as he could. It lasted for almost five floors until a heavy body hit him in the back and sent them both flying downward.

He hit with a hard thump, rolling the last few steps, to the landing, with his attacker half on top of him. Breath knocked from him, pain stabbing him in the side, he lay there for a moment stunned. The worker also seemed a little overcome and didn't move at first. Then he shook his head once and reached for Tom's throat. "You will die," he snarled. "Traitor."

Tom got his hands up between, pulling them apart, and then bashing their foreheads together. Then he got his arm across the worker's throat and force him to the side, so he could scramble to his feet.

He was panting through his teeth, trying to hold onto the rage and telling himself, not here, not yet. The staircase was a confined space with uncertain footing; he had to wait. But it was hard, keeping back the urge to fight him to the death.

He kicked the attacker where Kate had shot him, to slow him, and started running down the stairs again.

There was another person on the stairs -- a woman in running gear, going back up to her apartment. Tom slowed only long enough to make sure she wasn't another attacker and then said, "Police! Move!"

She moved to one side just in time, as he slid past.

He considered heading out at the ground floor, but that would mean more people around. But the stairs continued down to the basement, so he kept going.

Slamming through the door so hard it crashed against the wall behind it, he ran into the basement corridor and smelled for any humans nearby. It seemed empty.

"Coward!" the worker hissed. "Stand and fight."

Tom turned slowly, to see the tracker standing before the door to the stairwell.

"I don't want to kill you," Tom said. But he knew he was going to have to; if this tracker tried to walk away, Tom would have to kill him to stop him from communicating to the mothership. They were both equally wounded already, which should leave Tom with the advantage of strength and speed, though he hadn't fought any of his own kind in a very long time.

The worker smirked. "Then you'll come with me to Anna?"

"No."

"Then we fight and you go to her anyway, if I have to drag your body to lie at her feet." He pulled out one of the guard weapons, and its narrow blade glinted in the flickering fluorescent overheads.

Tom saw it and let himself smile. "Anna herself couldn't kill me. What makes you think you can?"

The humanity of 'Tom Demming' slipped away as he changed his stance. The cold fury filled his body, rising through him like a wave that washed away every pain and every other thought but the fight. It was time.


* * *



Though momentarily shocked that her shot had barely slowed the invader down, Tom's shout as he body slammed the invader back out of the apartment, roused her back to movement.

Kate glanced down at the small glowing ball, rolling toward the kitchen. Some kind of locator device? Something alien, for sure.

"What the --?" Castle stirred and rubbed at his throat.

"That thing, crush it! I'm going to back up Tom." Trusting Castle to do it, though he didn't understand what was going on, she ran into the hall. Behind her she heard a sharp thump and crackling noise.

Tom was already gone down the emergency stairs, and she started after, gun ready as she hurried. She could hear something crash several floors down and wished the stairs had an opening down the middle so she could see and maybe shoot the attacker again. Maybe torso shots weren't all that damaging, but surely a shot in the head would bring him down.

Castle was on the floor above now. "Beckett!"

"Stay out of this!" she shouted, but heard him following anyway. "Damn it, Castle!" But she was in too much of a hurry to make him stop, worried about what that other guy might do to Tom.

It got quiet in the stairwell, as a door banged shut down below, and she didn't hear the sound of hurrying steps down below anymore. She slowed to listen.

Castle caught up. "What the hell is going on?" he demanded in a whisper, behind her.

"You don't want to know," she said, knowing it wasn't true. "Stay back."

At the ground floor she paused, wondering if they'd left here, but then something banged beneath them.

"Basement," Castle whispered.

She went down the last flight and held out her hand to make Castle stay put. He nodded his agreement, looking worried but also a little too fever bright as if he had some inkling what was going on.

Then, cautiously, she pulled the basement door open a crack. Her eyes widened. Castle pressed close to her shoulder to watch as well.

The attacker had a knife - an odd weapon with a long handle and a short blade - but Tom dodged and struck like a viper, knocking it away from attacker's hand so it went spinning against the wall. They clashed again - striking and whirling so quickly she could barely keep track. Yet she could tell Tom was better and merely waiting for his moment.

The attacker seemed to realize it, too. His eyes darted toward his weapon, but it was past Tom and out of his reach. He backed away and his face held the realization that he was in trouble. Tom stalked forward, and though she couldn't see his face, she heard his voice, vicious and mocking, "Did no one tell you, little one? I'm a defender, not a soldier and never a drone. You were the dead the second you attacked my friends."

The attacker put up a fight when he was cornered, slashing his hands at Tom, but Tom was quicker and lethal. He slammed the attacker in the ribs with his right hand and then, in an impossibly quick motion with his left, tore out his throat with his bare hand.

She gasped. Blood fountained up, and she had a glimpse of green tissue and white bone, and then the corpse fell to the floor with a wet thunk.

Breathing hard, Tom let the chunk of flesh fall on top of the body and stood there, unmoving for a long moment. Then he asked, cool as ice, without looking away from the body. "Tell me you destroyed the sphere?''

Next to her Castle jerked like a guilty kid and pushed past her through the door. "I, uh, crushed it with the fruit bowl. What the hell was that? What's going on?" Tom didn't answer at first, and Castle went closer. "Oh my God. I did see it. He has claws."

That stirred her out of her astonishment and horror. Castle was right -- somehow, though the guy had normal hands upstairs when he'd been menacing Castle, he now sported sharp-looking and clearly alien nails on each finger.

Tom glanced at her and then at his bloodied hand. His apology sounded perfunctory, as if all the emotion had leached from his voice. "Sorry. I wish you hadn't seen that."

She kind of wished she hadn't either, but at the same time, she was glad. For that small time the fight had lasted, he hadn't fought like a human - not like the man she'd sparred with -- and there was something both frightening and exhilarating about seeing something so blatantly alien.

Castle came to the same conclusion. "He's not human, not with those claws, which means you aren't either. Are you?"

"No," Tom answered flatly. "I'm not. I came to this planet about fifteen years ago."

"You're an alien," Castle said, sounding as if it was the most exciting news he'd had in a very long time. When she glanced at him, he was grinning in a sort of excited, yet overwhelmed way. "An actual alien. But you look so human. How is that possible?"

"We're not that different," Tom answered, still in that oddly distant, tired voice, staring at the body. "That's why we're here. It was easy enough to graft on human skin and look like you. We're considerably more advanced technologically."

"We?" Castle repeated. "How many are there?"

"Many. And many more on the way. If word gets out, and our presence goes public, Earth will be conquered, enslaved, and culled and there is nothing your nuclear devices or your military can do, except get more humans killed. Because if there's one thing we excel at, it's being relentless and cruel."

"Oh." That quelled Castle's excitement for a moment.

Tom bent down to wipe the blood on the corpse's clothes. She saw his shirt was slashed across the back by those claws, leaving bloodied trails. "Hey, you okay?" she asked. "It looks like he got a couple good hits on you."

He took a deep breath, shaking his head to try to free himself from whatever alien version of adrenaline had been running through him. "I'll be fine."

"Yeah, Beckett shot that guy and it didn't slow him down at all. Damn." Then Castle jerked his head up. "You did get shot at Berger's place, didn't you? So your kind is that much tougher, huh? And, um, obviously compatible..." he mused and then trailed off as Kate glared at him.

Tom stood up, shaking himself again, and finally the emotion returned to his voice when he turned to Castle with a frown. "How the hell did he find you?" Tom demanded. "He seemed to think you were connected to the resistance, not that you knew me. So I don't think anyone saw us together."

Then Kate squeezed her eyes shut, realizing what she'd done. "It was my fault. When Maddox talked to me, I told him Castle had turned me onto your blog. I thought his being a writer was easier to explain how I'd looked at it. I never thought they'd wonder why Castle was looking at the blog. God, I'm sorry."

Tom grimaced and let out a resigned sigh. "It was only a matter of time. Does this building have an incinerator?"

"An incinerator?" Castle repeated blankly.

"To burn the body," Tom repeated shortly, as if Castle was trying his patience. "I need to dispose of it."

"Um, I think so? I don't come down here very often..."

It turned out the building did, and Kate felt very guilty as she watched the two stuff the dead body in. It felt wrong to be hiding the evidence, but she stood in front of the door so no one could come in, and held her tongue.

She had asked to be part of Tom's secret, and now she was. There was no turning back.


* * *



They returned upstairs after the body was ash and charred bone fragments. The fire had burned hotter than Kate thought it should, at least for a human body, but it made pretty quick work of the corpse.

Tom was wary and tense when the elevator doors opened, holding his attacker's bladed weapon at his side, and Kate kept her gun out, thumb on the safety. But there was no one there and when Tom sniffed at Castle's open apartment door, he said, "No one's here. Yet." He went in and checked the smashed little ball, dumping the fragments into the trash compactor.

Castle locked the door. "So. Anyone want beer?"

Kate accepted gratefully and popped the lid.

"You have anything stronger?" Tom asked, and when Castle held up a bottle of Scotch as if to ask if that was okay, Tom took it from him and gulped it like a bottle of water. Then, noticing the other two staring, he stopped and explained, "It takes a lot and I've had one hell of a day."

"You know that's 18-year-old Macallan, right?" Castle demanded. "That you're drinking like water?"

Tom glanced at the label. "It's nice. Thank you." Castle glanced at her, hoping she would intervene, and she snickered, not sure who was more amusing -- Tom with his deliberate obliviousness or Castle's horror at the casual way Tom was disposing of his expensive whisky.

Tom swallowed some more and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, sighing. "They're going to track the link after he doesn't report in, and I can't be here when they come investigate. They'll probably send their FBI agents to talk to you about John May and why you're reading his evil terrorist manifest of a blog."

"'John May'? That other guy mentioned that name. He's you?" Castle gestured them over to the couches.

"Alien resistance leader," Kate answered for him. "FBI claims he's a terrorist, but only because the FBI is apparently overrun by alien agents working for the bad guys."

Tom glanced at her, looking amused by her summary, then explained more fully for Castle, "My name - my old name - is something of a symbol to my people." Still holding the bottle, he sprawled back in the sofa, looking relaxed, while Castle perched on the edge of his chair, hardly able to sit still. "I was the first to start being open to human experience and human emotions like love and empathy, in part because my love for Lisa - my daughter -- had already opened the door. I started to gather the others who believed as I did, forming the Fifth Column. Ten years ago I faked my own death and went underground among humans to wait for the Arrival. I knew I wasn't going to last if they kept hunting me."

"That... is so weird, how you slip into calling us 'humans'," Castle said.

Tom shrugged, looking distinctly unbothered, though she wondered how much of that was the half-bottle of liquor he'd dumped down his throat. "You know the truth; I don't have to pretend."

Thinking back to the fight, she asked, with a smile, "When we sparred, you were totally humoring me, weren't you?"

He flashed a grin and teased, "It felt too good to stop early. At least, up until the part where you almost broke my arm." She chuckled, pleased that she'd taken him by surprise at all, after seeing him fight. Then he added, "But really, I can only do that," he waved his bottle in the general direction of the door, "when I fight to the death. We call it the defender's rage, and it lets us fight without feeling pain or, much of anything, except the desire to kill. The soldiers are like that all the time." The grin slipped away for a more troubled face, and he drank some more from the bottle before continuing, "It's been a long time since I've had to use it. I forgot how empty and awful it feels to butcher my own people." He toyed with the alien weapon, and it turned out to be like a switchblade, able to telescope and flip out the blade, then collapsing itself again down to something not much larger than a pen.

"So, what are they called?" Castle asked curiously.

Tom opened his mouth and... something came out. It sort of sounded like a 'Viss" and maybe a click and something else, and she knew she had no hope of pronouncing it in this lifetime, no matter how many times he said it. Then he smiled at their goggle eyes and added dryly, "Or 'Vs' for short." He drained the bottle, put it on the side table, and stood up, with an air of making a decision. "I've got to get going. It's harder than you might think to disappear."

The words slammed into her like a bullet to the chest. "Wait. What? You mean you're leaving town?" Kate demanded. "Now?"

He nodded. "I think I have to. I'm sorry you two'll bear the brunt of the investigation. Make up whatever story you want - I'm sure Castle can help come up with something."

"Uh, sure," Castle said, sounding both surprised and flattered. "I can do that."

"Good. Thank you." He held out his hand, and Castle shook it automatically, then looked down at their joined hands and didn't seem to want to let go.

"Are you sure you have to go now?" Castle asked, disappointed. "I have so many questions--"

Tom smiled a little. "I'm sure. But you know enough to put you in danger already. And I have to ask you to keep it to yourself. If they find out I'm alive after all, they won't stop hunting me. And I still need time."

"I understand. And I will. Keep it secret, I mean," Castle promised, looking as serious as Kate had ever seen him. "Take care of yourself, Demming."

"You, too." Tom reholstered his gun, shrugged his suit jacket back on, and put the alien blade in his pocket. Then he glanced at Kate with his eyebrows up in a silent question.

"I'm coming. I'll see you later, Castle." She gathered up her things and followed Tom out the door.

They both watched for anyone paying them too much attention as they left Castle's building, but as far as she could tell there was no one watching them, and Tom didn't appear to sense anything unusual.

Nevertheless, he didn't relax until they'd walked three blocks away and turned the corner to head toward her building. She couldn't find anything to say. Her feelings were all tangled; she didn't know if she could continue where they'd left off, since it was freaky to think she'd been sleeping with someone from another planet, but she didn't want him to go because she also wondered if she could get over it. As much as his inner alien nature was still a shock, it also made her curious and want to know more.

"You're sure you can't stay?" she asked, without much hope of a positive answer.

"I wish I could," he answered, stopping in front of a closed shop window and turning to face her with regret. "But they're too close. All it would take is for one of them come to the station to talk to you and run across me. Not all of them know what I look like, but enough do."

"So transfer out of our precinct."

He shook his head. "No, without this, it would be something else. I've barely been able to avoid the media as is. Bit by bit I've become too public, and with agents building up for the Arrival, I have to move. But in any case, I don't think I have time to waste on day jobs anymore. I have to be John May again."

She nodded and let out a soft sigh. "I know. I wish you didn't."

"Me, too. So much." His fingers brushed her cheek gently, as if that was all he dared to do, now that she knew the truth. But Kate wasn't going to let that be her last memory of him -- she wasn't frightened of him, and they'd been far more intimate than that already.

She reached around his neck and pulled him in for a kiss. As always, their lips met in a perfect match of heat, and his hands clasping her waist made her want his touch elsewhere. She pressed into him, hoping to give him something to remember when he was gone.

Then with breathy sighs, they pulled back a little, to rest their heads together. Her fingers caressed through the short hair at the back of his neck. "Be safe," she wished him. "And if you need anything, you call me, and I'll do whatever I have to, to help you."

He nodded his thanks and one of his hands cradled the side of her face, with his thumb caressing her cheek. "All these years since I left Lily, I never dared to get close to anyone," he murmured, "until you. You reminded me of passion and love again. I would stay if I could, but I need to help my people feel this, too."

"I understand." She wished she didn't, then she could say goodbye and not know he was going into a war. "Will I see you again?"

"I hope so," he answered, and that might not be the answer she wanted, but it was honest. He kissed her lips once more and then he pulled back, trying for a smile. "At least I get to say good bye this time."

Then he turned to head down the street. Kate watched, thinking what an incredibly lonely a life it had to be-- an alien on Earth, trying to fit in, trying to be human, and hunted by his own kind who didn't want to believe in love or kindness or compassion.

She blurted, "Hey!"

He turned with an raised eyebrow and curious half-smile.

And she said deliberately, knowing everything that it meant to him and to his cause, "John May Lives."

The half-smile broadened to a grin that perversely made her own heart lighter, though she was trying to help him. Then he raised a hand to her in farewell, turned back, and walked away. He was soon swallowed up by the crowd, but she watched long after she couldn't see him anymore.



* * *


Epilogue



Three days later, in Castle's place, at his dining table, he poured her a glass of wine and then flopped down on the chair across from her. "Do you have any idea how hard this is for me?" he demanded rhetorically. "A real alien. I met an actual space alien, something my colleagues would kill for, and I can't talk about it."

She narrowed her eyes at him and pointed. "Not anyone. If word spread around, they'd know he wasn't dead, and that's the only thing keeping him alive. And Tom might be the only thing that will save us, if this invasion happens."

"I know, I know," he agreed with a groan. "But it's so exciting. Heroic resistance fighter, bad aliens-- like it's from a book. Or a movie. Kind of like Starman, and you're Karen Allen. You're not pregnant, are you?" he asked suddenly.

She rolled her eyes at him. "Please. But it's going to get a whole lot less fictional if the arrival happens."

"I know. But still. Beckett, do you realize we are some of the first people on this entire planet who now know for a fact that we are not alone in the universe? There are aliens among us. I..." he paused, drank some wine and continued more quietly, "I can't believe it happened to me. There was an alien resistance leader posing as a cop in our precinct." He grinned with delight. "'Alien resistance leader'. That's so awesome."

She smiled at his boyish excitement, but her thoughts went to Tom's abandoned apartment, and to him, wherever he was. In a single day he'd resigned from the force, taken Tom's money, and vanished. She hadn't even seen him. She had checked the blog, but it hadn't changed.

Castle's enthusiasm faded for concern. "How're you doing? It must be a weird thing, finding out your boyfriend's a space alien."

Her lips twitched, amused. "I'm... all right," she answered after a moment, twirling the stem of the glass in her fingers. "It happened so fast. I barely know what to feel about any of it. But I can tell you it's not everyday I get the "it's not you, it's me" speech from resistance fighters from outer space." She smiled as Castle chuckled. But as she sipped at her wine, she turned her eyes toward the city and the horizon. "I just wish I knew he was okay."

A week later, she was sorting her mail when a postcard fell out. When she picked it up, she saw it was a picture of a little green alien with big black eyes, wearing board shorts, surfing. She laughed and turned it over, eager to see the message.

The postmark was New Jersey. The message was hand-written and unsigned: Thank you for believing in me.

She taped the card to her monitor. It was still there when Castle plopped two inches of paper on her desk, two months later.

"Let me guess, Naked Heat?" she asked with a resigned sigh.

"No," he said, grinning excitedly. "I've been doing this at night. Look."

She looked. The title page read: "The Arrival, by R. Castle." She thumbed through it, seeing 'Jack August' was the name of the main character. It took her a moment and then her eyes widened in alarm. "Castle! You didn't!"

"I did," he answered smugly. "But don't worry, it's a novel. I'm branching out into sci-fi." He slouched against her desk, arms folded and grinned at her. "A rebel alien comes to Earth to help the humans prepare to fight his own kind before they come here to kick our ass." He glanced around to make sure no one else was around and leaned forward to say more seriously, "Look, I don't carry a gun, but this? Writing? I can do that. I can warn people they're not coming here in peace, but also that some of them are trying to help us. And you know the best part? I'm going to release it in paid installments on the website. Publisher's having a cow, but that was the only way to get it out in time. But I'll only do it, if you read it and sign off on it first."

He looked hopeful and a little wary as he waited for her response. She smiled slowly and nodded her agreement. "You'll drop it if I think you're risking his life?"

"Promise," he answered, somberly. "I want to help."

"All right, then. I'll read it tonight."

He was in the doorway when he turned around, smiling with delight. "Oh! I should emphasize that Kara isn't you, Beckett. At all. In any way. Especially the pregnant-by-an-alien-fugitive part." Then, chortling, he ducked out the door into the corridor, ignoring her exasperated cry of his name.

"Castle!" She threw a pencil after him to make sure he stayed out of her way until tomorrow.

She took the postcard home with her, propping it up against her lamp to glance at and smile, as she read Castle's manuscript.

But it turned out digital publishing wasn't fast enough. She hadn't finished the novel when the building began to shake violently, and a deafening roar filled the air. As the shaking subsided, she went to her window and saw the giant alien spacecraft hovering above the city.

The day had come. They had arrived.

She wondered where Tom was and hoped he was still safe.

Like everyone else on the planet, Kate looked up at the alien leader's projected face on the underside of the huge ship and listened to her words:

"We are of peace. Always."

But unlike everyone else, the view brought her little sense of awe, only anger and defiance. Kate murmured under her breath to Anna, "Never peace. I know what you are. I know what you want. But John May lives, bitch, and he's not alone."



fin.



Comments are good karma!



aaaaand, we're done! Hope you had fun reading, because I sure did writing! :D

Crossposted from DW There are comment count unavailable comments over there. Feel free to comment wherever.
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Merry F: kate beckett smirkivanolix on June 25th, 2010 03:19 am (UTC)
LOL, Castle named her Kara in the book!

"'Alien resistance leader'. That's so awesome."

It is! This story was awesome.
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on June 25th, 2010 06:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

Yep. Castle's not exactly the most creative with his names, plus that force of destiny thing is strong... :)
jen: v - joshua - fifth columncut_thestring on June 25th, 2010 03:36 am (UTC)
THIS IS AMAZING. I was going to comment on the last chapter, but then saw this one up (: I really like that you didn't portray Castle as over-jealous, and glad that they both took his secret well. Just, this story in general is so spot-on. :D:D And the ending was perfect but I'm also kind of in denial that it's over. :P
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on June 25th, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

Yeah, I didn't think either of them would freak out - they'd both been feeling their way to the idea that something was 'different' about Tom, so it wasn't a total surprise.

Denial that it's over is good. :) (and I barely know what to do with myself now that this obsession is over.... *g* )
entertaining in a disturbing way: yeah I ship itlyssie on June 25th, 2010 03:47 am (UTC)
Eee. I CANNOT BELIEVE IT IS OVER.
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on June 25th, 2010 06:08 pm (UTC)
yep. all done. :)

Thanks!
(Deleted comment)
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on June 26th, 2010 08:06 am (UTC)
thanks!

And um I feel I should warn you about the show. It's primarily an example of wasted potential, but it has its moments.
Rainne: Castle - Castle & Beckett - Smoochxdawnfirex on June 26th, 2010 03:19 am (UTC)
dude. alien invasion does not equal happy ending.

That said, excellent story, very well written, and I enjoyed it despite having zero clue what was going on at some points. :)

I would love to see you write some straight Castle fic now, especially some Castle/Beckett. ;)
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on June 26th, 2010 08:21 am (UTC)
lol. No, alien invasion isn't exactly a happy ending, that's true.

aw, and that's so flattering. I do find Castle a fun show, but with my tendencies, any proper Castle fic would probably end up a zombie apocalypse or something. :D

Thank you!
Rainne: Castle - Castle - Woo!xdawnfirex on June 26th, 2010 01:03 pm (UTC)
...depending on the circumstances, I might actually be kind of okay with that. *shifty eyes*
Taerieltaeriel on June 26th, 2010 06:38 am (UTC)
Fabulous story! I really enjoyed reading it. You did an excellent job bringing the two shows together.
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on June 26th, 2010 08:07 pm (UTC)
thank you so much! I was kind of obsessed with it for awhile, so I'm glad to hear nice things about it. :D
cujoycujoy on July 1st, 2010 03:12 am (UTC)
I only just got a chance to finally finish reading this story. I absolutely loved this. Jack August!!! :::hearts:::

And "John May lives, bitch" :)
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on July 1st, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
Castle named his own Gary Stu "Rook" I figure he's not going to be THAT creative with the names. *g* , I did think about having him be "Sam" to match with the Kara (Kate) .But that seemed too much.

Now we just need Kate and Erica to join forces.

Thanks!