Bestselling novelist Richard Castle walked into the thirteenth precinct of the NYPD one mid-December morning with two coffees in his hands. He whistled a Christmas tune that was playing on the car ride over, excited for the upcoming Holiday. Castle, like most people, had his holiday traditions that he swore would never be broken. The day his daughter Alexis got out of school for her break the two of them, as well as his mother Martha, abandoned their SoHo loft and went up to their secluded home in the Hamptons. However they returned for New Year’s where Castle threw his annual party which for the past four years had included his friends from the NYPD. He always enjoyed seeing Kevin perform some of his Irish traditions while bringing in the New Year, especially after he had a few drinks. Although, it wasn’t as fun as their St. Patrick’s Day celebration when they played a game of drunken Leprechaun Toss.
“Morning Detective Beckett.” He said setting the nonfat skim latte with one cream two sugars on the wooden desk.
Detective Kate Beckett brushed her long brown hair out of her eyes and looked up. She smiled at the sight of the large cup and reached for it. “Hey Castle.”
He looked at the stocking pinned on the side of her desk with her name written on it in glitter. “Expecting a visit from Santa?”
Rolling her eyes Becket took a large sip of her coffee. “I thought we talked about this; I don’t believe in Santa. We didn’t have a chimney in my house.”
“That’s right; you were one of those annoying six year olds who didn’t believe in Santa Clause.” He took a sip of his coffee peering over the lid. “So, any dead bodies show up this morning?”
Before Beckett could answer her desk phone rang and she picked it up on the first ring. “Beckett.”
Beckett and Castled pulled up behind Detectives Kevin Ryan and Javier Esposito in front of the victim’s apartment which was down the street from Central Park. The coroner van was already there and as the rest of her team walked into the building, Beckett stopped and paused. She always had the same sinking feeling in her gut before she met the body. It wasn’t the brutality of the scene or the blood or smell of the body. It was because every time she ducked under that yellow tape her mind flashed back to the night thirteen years ago. The night that she and her father waited and waited for her mother to meet them for dinner. The night that when Kate and her dad returned home they found Detective John Raglan waiting for them. The night that was a result of the deeds done by Raglan eighteen years earlier with the help of her deceased Captain Roy Montgomery. The night her mother was murdered. Though Beckett and her team had found out that their captain and mentor was a dirty cop, it was kept between the four of them. Captain Montgomery was given a proper burial with full honors, his wife and daughters never found out nor did the department. As far as the rest of the world was concerned he died a hero. Although, if the department found out they may not agree. Despite the fact that Montgomery gave his life to save hers from the man who had been given the order to order a hit on her mom, the fact that he was involved in something dirty almost two decades earlier would over shadow that. It was because of that fact that Kate and the rest of her team kept quiet.
Taking a deep breath Kate cleared her mind of her past and focused on the task at hand. The victim upstairs deserved her full attention.
“What do we got?” she asked once she got upstairs. Castle stood next to her pulling on his blue latex gloves.
Medical Examiner Lanie Parish knelt on the floor with a clipboard in her hand writing down all the information she could. “Our victim is a male, thirty two years old named Yancy Fry. Cause of death is a single gunshot wound to the chest with a large caliber, probably a .45.”
“Who called it in?”
“Neighbors. They heard fighting and about an hour later went to check and found him on the floor.”
“They heard him arguing with someone but not the gun shot?”
Ryan held up a throw pillow that had feathers sticking out of a large hole. “Poor man’s sound suppressor.”
Beckett knelt down on the floor and absorbed everything she could. “Does he have any family?”
“He’s separated.” Esposito said.
Castle held up a picture that was on Yancy’s desk of him and his son who looked identical to him. “But he has a son.”
“His name is Phillip J. Fry. He’s at his dad’s every weekend.”
“Any other relatives?” Beckett asked standing up.
“His parents are still alive, they live in Queens. He also has a brother who disappeared over a decade ago.”
“You guys go talk to the parents we’ll take the wife. Lanie, can you call us if you find anything else?”
“Thanks.” Beckett turned around and snapped her gloves off. “Come on Castle, we’ve got a murder to solve.”
Hours later Beckett and Castle arrived back at the thirteenth precinct with information on Yancy’s life: he still worked at his job as an engineer, would occasionally go out with friends but mostly kept to himself. His marriage fell apart a few years before when after the tenth anniversary of his brothers’ disappearance Yancy began his affair with the bottle and began heading down to the triad games in China town. However, it seemed that Yancy was on his way to getting his life back on track.
Beckett wrote down all the facts she had gathered on the white board as Castle sat on the edge of her desk.
“We’ll have to find a way into the mob run games.” She said. “Maybe we should send Ryan and Esposito undercover.”
“Why can’t we do it?” Castle asked.
Beckett smirked before turning around. “Do you remember what happened last time we went down there?”
“We caught the guy.”
“After you tipped him off and he almost shot you.”
He shrugged and stood up. “I’m still standing, aren’t I?”
“Hey,” Ryan said walking towards them with his notepad in his hand. “Mr. and Mrs. Yancy Sr. haven’t seen their son in weeks.”
Esposito chimed in: ‘Mom’s been watching all the hockey games going on and Dad’s preparing his fallout shelter in case of nuclear war.”
“Sounds like a great family.” Beckett said looking at her notes. “The wife saw him on Sunday when he dropped off Phil. She said since the separation he’d been trying to clean up and save his marriage. They even talked about getting back together.” She turned around and crossed her arms. “You know nothing about this make sense. Why would someone break into his apartment and shoot him?”
“This must have something to do with the mob run games.” Castle said. “Maybe he got in over his head and was having trouble making payments.”
“Well boys,” Beckett said. “Who’s up for an undercover operation?”
Castle, Beckett, Ryan and Esposito sat in a black surveillance van outside an old Chinese shop with a secret entrance to the games in the back. Ryan attached a small camera to both Castle and Esposito’s lapels and gave them each an ear piece.
“Now we’ll be able to hear and see everything. If something goes south we’ve got back-up down the street.”
Though she wasn’t too keen on the idea of Castle going on another undercover mission, Beckett knew that Ryan was the tech guy and that it would be better if he controlled the camera than Castle. But this time he wasn’t going in alone.
After the two of them were set up with their gadgets Beckett was about to go over the plan when the van bean to shake violently.
“What the hell?” Beckett said as she fell to the floor.
A flash of bright blue light could be seen through the cracks of the door and within seconds the van was pitch black. The screens went black, a couple of them cracked, and the shaking stopped. The four of them waited for a second before standing up. Esposito grabbed the handle of the door and swung it open. The four of them glanced out with wide eyes at their surroundings. Aliens, robots and other creatures walked through the streets, cars hovered above the ground and cats and dogs chased each other while wearing jet packs.
“Uh, I don’t think we’re in New York anymore.” Castle said.
“Oh come on Leela!”
Delivery boy Phillip J. Fry ran at the heels of his captain Truanga Leela with his friend Bender Bending Rodriguez at his side. Their ship had just touched down from a delivery to the forbidden zone and Fry had yet again asked Leela out.
“Fry, for the umpteenth time, no!”
“Will you two flesh wads stop babbling? Leela just bang Fry and he’ll leave you alone.”
“Bender!” she said in disgust. “I don’t just sleep with every guy I meet.”
“Is that so? Well let’s review: Captain Dumbass, Alcatraz, Mayor’s Aid, Head Museum guy-“
“We should really learn people’s names.” Fry said.
Before Bender could continue Leela let out a “Hi-ya!” and landed a roundhouse kick to his face. As she walked away Fry just stared in wonderment.
“For reasons too disturbing to mention I find that unbelievably hot.”
Bender stood up and lit a cigar. “Fry just move on already. If she kicks like that God only knows what she could do to your-“
The doorbell rang, conveniently censoring Bender, and the two of them made their way down the hall.
“I can’t Bender. I mean, how can I move on from her? I don’t want to look for someone else and it’s not like some beautiful women is going to show up at my doorstep.”
Fry hit the open button on the door and stared with his slack jaw grin as a tall, thin brunette woman stood in front of him. He looked at her from head to toe: her long hair fell on her shoulders; she wore a tight leather jacket with a pair of skinny jeans and high heels. Then he noticed the gun and badge on her hip and the three men standing behind her.
“Can I help you?” Fry said finally.
“Maybe,” she said staring at Bender. “Uh, my name is Kate; this is Javier, Kevin and Rick.”
“I’m Fry, this is Bender.”
Kate let out a quiet “Oh” and nodded then continued to stare at the two of them.
“What the hell’s wrong with you meat bags?” Bender asked. “Are you stoned?”
“Oh, no!” Kate said, “I’m sorry, this may sound weird but where are we?”
“New New York.” Fry said still staring at her curves.
“Did you say New New York?” Rick said, “Or was that a stutter?”
“What year is it?” Kate asked.
“3011.” Bender said. “What did a bad drug trip screw you?”
“We’re not on drugs. We-I can’t believe I’m about to say this-we traveled in time.”
Bender and Fry stared at them, looked at each other and then back at the four people in front of them.
“Defiantly a possibility.”
“Sure, that could happen.”
“Why don’t you guys come in?” Fry said moving out of the way and inviting them in.
“Thanks, Fry was it?” she said extending her hand.
“Yeah,” he said shaking it. “Nice to meet you. So, where-or rather-when are you guys from?”
“2011.” She said as Fry led her down the hall and Bender followed Rick, Kevin and Javier, pickpocketing each of them.
“You’re from the 21st century? I’m from the 20th century!”
“How did you end up here?” Rick asked.
“I fell into a freezer tube in 1999, woke up in 2999 and been here ever since.”
“Wait a second.” Kevin said stopping in his tracks. “What’s your first name?”
Kate stopped and stared at him. “Oh no.”
“What?” Fry asked. “Is there a bug on me? Get it off!” he frantically waved his arms.
Kate grabbed his arms. “You’re name is Phillip Fry and you were cryogenically frozen? Was it on New Year’s Eve 1999?”
“Yeah, how’d you know that?”
Kate looked at her friends and continued to hold Fry’s arm. “Do you have a brother named Yancy?”
“Yeah! You knew him? How is-er-was he in your time?”
The four of them looked at each other with solemn looks and finally Kate spoke.
“Fry…” she said reaching for her badge. “My name is Detective Kate Beckett, NYPD. I’m a homicide detective. This is my partner Richard Castle and my team members Detectives Kevin Ryan and Javier Esposito. Before we ended up here…we were investigating your brother’s murder.”
Fry’s face lost its color and he backed into the wall. “What did you say?”
“I’m so sorry Fry,” Kate said putting a comforting hand on his hand. She watched as he slid down the wall until he was on the floor and she knelt down beside him. “I know how difficult this must be.”
The lounge door opened and Leela entered the hall holding her coffee mug. She noticed all the people crowding and saw a woman holding Fry’s hand as he sat on the floor pale as a ghost.
“What’s going on?” she asked.
“My brother’s dead.” Fry said in a cracking voice.
“Fry, you already knew that. You’ve been gone for a thousand years.”
“He was murdered.” He said wiping the tears away.
“Murdered?” she knelt down next to him and put a hand on his shoulder. “Fry, I-I don’t know what to say. How did you find this out?”
“Uh,” he said clearing his voice. “Leela, this is Detective Beckett and her team. Somehow they ended up here while investigating Yancy’s murder. Kate this is Leela.”
Kate, Leela thought, so he’s on a first name basis now?
“Nice to meet you.” Beckett said shaking Leela’s hand. “Are you Fry’s girlfriend?”
“What? No, no, no, no. We’re just friends and we work together. Nothing else.”
“That hasn’t stopped him from trying.” Bender said counting the money he stole. “I still say that you guys should just do it and move on. I’m sure they did it all the time in these losers’ days…although they also put hydrogen in blimps and that was bad.”
“You’re about a century too late on that,” Castle said.
“Can we just focus on the fact that we somehow ended up in the 31st century with our victims missing brother?” Beckett said standing up. “What are the chances of that?”
“Slim to none.” Castle said. “Although can I just say this is by far one of the coolest things that’s ever happened to me.”
“Castle,” Beckett glared. “Focus.”
“Wait a second!” Bender said, “You’re Richard Castle? I stole one of your books the other day!”
“Well it’s good to know my novels will stand the test of time. Which one?”
“Ooh, good title.” He said taking out a small notepad. “That is so going to be the title of my next book.”
“Guys,” Ryan said. “How are we going to get home?”
“Yeah,” Esposito said, “Honey Milk here needs to get home to his old lady.”
Before anyone could comment the lounge door opened and the Professor shuffled into the hall. “What’s all this jibber jabber? It’s almost four o’clock! It’s a miracle I’m still awake, dammit!”
“Professor,” Leela said, “These people came here from the year 2011.”
“Can you help send us back?” Castle asked.
“Unfortunately not, time travel is impossible.”
“It can’t be impossible, how else would we have ended up here?” Beckett said.
“I never said it was impossible!” the Professor yelled.
“Uh,” Ryan said. “Yes you-“
Fry muttered and waved him off. “Don’t bother.”
“There’s much to be done but it could take a few days. I’ll start researching first thing in the morning.”
The 170 year old man shuffled off and left his employees with their guests from the past in the hall.
“Well,” Bender said. “I’m sick of standing here. Let’s go get drunk.”
“I’m in!” Fry said. “You guys wanna come? We can try to find you guys someplace to stay.”
“Oh I don’t know-“ Beckett said.
“Oh come on Beckett.” Castle said. “We might as well enjoy our time here. I mean, don’t you ever have any fun? Let your hair down? Drop your top? A little ‘Cops Gone Wild’?”
All the men chuckled as Leela and Kate glared. Finally Kate reached for her holster and pulled out her piece. “You do remember I have this, right?”
Castle zipped his lips and Fry hid behind him. Leela on the other hand just smiled and put a hand on Kate’s shoulder.
“I think we’re going to get along just fine.”
That night after given a tour of the futuristic version of the city she had grown up in, Kate was glad to take a seat at the bar and unwind. She had spent so many countless nights either tossing and turning being haunted by some demon or pulling an all-nighter to solve a case. Although she may have been off the job at a certain time she never truly stopped working. Castle was right, she needed to just let go sometimes and have some fun. Her fear was that once she was able to let go of her inhibitions what would happen?
A little “Cops Gone Wild” she thought.
She shook her head at the thought and told herself that she had already lived her “Wild Years”- a fact that she taunted Castle with constantly. She prided herself on being a bit of a tease but she only did it to men she was good friends with. Why else would she mention her tattoo (one that wasn’t even visible while in a bathing suit) to him? Or what about the time Castle wore X-Ray glasses and claimed that he could see her naked? And her response: “How do you like my naval ring?” Kate silently laughed to herself remembering the look on his face as well his reaction to the “Magic Trick with ice cubes” she vaguely mentioned while investigating the murder of a local magician. Though she had learned many fun tricks from her grandfather, an amateur magician, the one she told Castle about wasn’t exactly part of a family friendly show. Not to mention the Harley she worked all of high school to pay for and how she taunted Castle about the pictures of her straddling it in “tight black leather”.
Suddenly Kate stopped laughing in her head and began to wonder something: Why did she do all those things? Yes, she teased her guy friends all the time but nothing like this. This was something else entirely.
Even though she’d had to deal with it eventually, Kate pushed all these thoughts in the back of her mind and looked down the bar. Fry had taken a seat at the opposite end while the others grabbed a booth nearby. She watched as he rotated his beer in his hands and stared at the label. Kate felt a sinking feeling in her gut remembering feeling so lost and so distraught after her mother was murdered.
Picking up her wine glass she joined Fry.
“Hey,” she said sitting down. “How are you doing?”
“It’s tough.” He finally said. “I always liked to think that my parents and Yancy lived a long happy life after I was gone, but now…who did this?”
“That’s what we were trying to figure out. But I can tell you that he missed you and loved you very much.”
“Because he named his son after me?”
Kate paused and decided to let Fry remember his brother however he wanted. It was bad enough knowing that he died at such a young age. Getting into Yancy’s drinking, gambling and separation would only bring Fry down more so she let it go.
“Yeah.” She paused and put a hand on his shoulder. “Listen, I know how you feel; the helplessness, the sadness and the confusion. Not to mention the fact that you have no idea why…some people say what does it matter, the person you love is dead but knowing why matters.”
“You must see this a lot as a cop.”
Kate looked up as Castle and Bender browsed the Juke Box and the rest of the Planet Express crew chatted with her team. Leela had looked over at her and Fry and seemed a bit concerned. Though she had only known Fry for a few hours she guessed he wasn’t acting like his usual self.
“Do you want to go somewhere and talk?” Kate asked.
Fry thought about it for a minute and then placed money on the bar before standing up. “Follow me.”
Leela watched as Fry and Kate walked out of the bar after only briefly saying something to Ryan. She furrowed her brow and sank into her seat. Then something hit her; why did she care? Why did she care that Fry was off running around with Detective Beckett? But if she didn’t care why had she spent so many sleepless nights when she knew Fry was out with someone? Why did she feel tightness in her chest whenever he was around? Why did she daydream about him when he was gone?
That little voice in the back of her head always stayed repressed but when it spoke up she forced it back down into the depths of her psyche. The very thought of being with Fry formed a knot in her stomach or were they butterflies? Leela didn’t know. All she knew was that she was feeling something for Fry that she never had. She thought back to when they touched back down to Earth and Fry asked her out again-she had come so close to saying yes. Mostly because she figured that one date would finally get Fry off of her back and he’d finally realize that there was nothing between them. But then she thought about something: what if there was something there?
Leela looked over at her friend Amy who sat in the booth with her martini chatting with Detective Ryan. When he got up to play darts with Castle and Esposito, Leela snuck in his seat.
“Hey,” she said stirring her Campari and soda, “Mind a little shop talk?”
Despite their cultural differences-a wealthy Martian with a PhD from Mars University and a one eye mutant who spent her childhood in an orphanage-they connected on another level: as professional women in a predominately male fields-physics and piloting. Sure, Leela enjoyed the occasional brew with Bender and Fry but she was never all about being one of the fellas, nor was she about being one of the mini skirt wearing club girls. Leela and Amy clung to their friendship and the sense of safety they had with one another.
“What’s going on?”
After Leela explained her dilemma she watched her friend attempt to hide the faintest smile. Amy sipped her martini before speaking again.
“I know exactly what you’re feeling, Leela.” She smirked a little. “It’s love.”
“Yes. The way you feel when you’re with Fry is the same way I feel when I’m with Kif.”
“But,” Leela said stirring her drink furiously, “…Fry?”
“Hey, you could do worse, you have before.”
“I’m just saying. When all those guys didn’t work out who was there to pick up the pieces?”
Leela stopped messing with her drink. “Fry.”
“I mean come on Leela; you work side by side every day, he wrote an opera about you and now little miss detective shows up and you can’t tell me that you’re not just a little jealous.”
Leela searched for an excuse but failed to come up with one and finally shook her head. “Okay, maybe…maybe I am a little jealous.”
“We’re going into the sewer?”
Fry lifted the manhole cover and tossed it into the snow covered alley as Kate stood by with her arms crossed attempting to warm up herself up. Fry looked up and smiled.
“It’s not as bad as you think.” When she didn’t seem convinced Fry climbed down the first two steps of the ladder and held out his hand. “Trust me.”
Kate gave in and followed Fry into the sewers. Darkness surrounded them and Kate pulled her phone out of her jacket once they reached the bottom and activated the flashlight app.
“Here,” she said handing it to him. “Just don’t drop it.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t. Just follow me.”
They walked along the slick concrete in the damp darkness. Their footsteps echoed in the emptiness and Kate stumbled in her heels. Grabbing Fry’s arm she held on tight as he placed his free arm around her waist and helped her regain her balance.
“You okay?” he asked as their eyes locked.
“Uh, yeah. Yeah, I’m fine.”
Fry offered his arm and Kate hesitated.
“Just take it; I don’t want you to fall.”
She looped her arm through his and they continued. Finally they reached their destination: the same platform that Fry stood on when he arrived in the future nearly a decade ago.
“What is this?” Kate asked staring into the ruins.
“This is Old New York.”
She looked at him and then back at the city she had spent her life in. It looked like a war zone. Building decayed and crumbled, black dirt and grime covered everything. The one thing that caught her eye was a dirty and ripped American flag still on a pole. She thought back to September 2001 when she was still in college. She lived with her roommates only nine blocks away from the World Trade Center. Days later they made their way to Ground Zero and saw the flag that had been raised. She remembered being at the fifth anniversary of the attacks standing with her fellow NYPD officers and had never felt so proud and honored to be with them before.
“Wow,” she whispered.
“Yeah,” he said. “That was my reaction. It kind of leaves you speechless.”
Kate looked at the street signs. “My apartment is-er-was that way.”
“The house I grew up in is that way.” He said pointing in the opposite direction.
“You wanna go?” she asked.
“If you’re up for it.”
The two of them made their way into the destroyed city and walked towards Fry’s childhood home. Kate kept her firm but friendly grip on Fry’s arm and cursed herself for always wearing high heels.
“How do you wear those?” Fry asked motioning to her shoes. “I mean, you’re a cop-those must be hell to run in.”
“Took some getting used to but I’ve mastered them. It’s just the uneven rocks we’re walking on is making it a little difficult. Besides, they give me power at work.”
“Why are they magic heels or something?”
“No,” she laughed, “It’s hard being a woman in man’s world. These force the men to literally look up to me. They’re intimidating.”
“Is that when your charms and good looks don’t work?”
Kate smiled and blushed before brushing a strand of her hair back. “You know you’re not so bad yourself, Fry.”
“Thanks,” He said. “Hey, look we’re here.”
The two of them stared at the broken white panels of the Fry home. Letting go of Kate’s arm Fry made his way up the rickety steps onto the porch. The front door stuck when he tried to open it and he took a step back before charging with his shoulder. The wood cracked loudly and Fry fell to the floor and dust flew into the air. Coughing he brushed himself off as he stood and turned when Kate walked in behind him.
“Are you okay?”
“Oh yeah,” he said in a hoarse voice.
Leela and Amy continued talking in the dark bar as Bender hustled Castle after playing darts. After handing Bender money he picked up his drink and walked towards them.
“I may be out a hundred bucks,” he said sitting down next to Leela, “But this will make a great idea for a science fiction book.”
“Hey, Castle,” Amy said. “Can you please tell Leela that just because Fry and Beckett took off she doesn’t need to be worried?”
His smile disappeared a bit. “Beckett took off with Fry?”
“Yeah. Why is there a problem?”
“Are you two together?” Leela asked.
“Uh…No. We’re not.”
“You hesitated.” Leela said.
“Well Beckett doesn’t seem like the kind of girl who could fall for Fry.” Amy said, “He doesn’t seem like her type.”
“You know, I guess I’ve never really had a type.” Kate said as she and Fry sat on the steps in his old basement. Both of them had been talking about their families and their complicated relationships with their co-workers.
“I mean, I’ve dated a grunge rocker, a guy I met while studying abroad in college, a FBI agent, a robbery detective, a doctor.”
“A writer.” Fry said.
Kate looked up. “Castle and I aren’t together.”
“Oh,” he said, “I’m sorry, I just thought-“
“No, it’s okay…our relationship is…complicated.”
“Why? Is he not the type to commit?”
“It’s not him,” Leela said, “It’s me. I can’t open up to anyone. I guess being abandoned by my parents convinced me that all relationships are doomed.”
“But Leela,” Amy said. “All that tragedy in your life has made you the person you are now. You’re smart, strong, driven. That’s why Fry loves you.”
Leela swirled her drink. “I just-I’ve always had something missing in my life. It’s a void that’s always been there. And I want to be more than who I am now…but I just can’t bring myself to change. I thought I knew who I was, but Fry makes me wonder sometimes. He makes me want to be different…better.”
“My mom’s death has shaped me into the person I am now,” Kate said as Fry sat by quietly hanging on to her every word. When they talked about Yancy’s murder Kate felt like she could open up to Fry about her mother’s murder as well as the death of Captain Montgomery and her being shot by a Sniper at his funeral. “I’ve had this….void and I think it’s always been there since that night.”
“The night your mom was killed?”
She nodded. “I’ve let it define me…but now, I want to be more than who I am.” Kate wiped a tear away. “But I don’t know to do that without letting my mom down.”
Fry put a hand on her shoulder. “Beckett…Kate, your mom is dead. You can’t let her down…the only person you can let down is yourself. You’ve got to make peace with her death and what happened to you after your Captains death. Just like one day I’ll make peace with what happened to my brother.”
They sat in silence for a moment before Fry spoke again, staring off into space. “But the question is; how do you get over it?”
Kate shook her head. “You never do. But one day you’ll wake up and realize you don’t mind carrying it around with you…at least that’s as far as I’ve gotten.”
Fry looked over at her and their eyes locked. Without saying another word they both moved closer until their noses touched. Kate hesitated for a moment before closing her eyes and pressing her lips against Fry’s.
Hours later, after dropping Kate off at the hotel her team had found, Fry made his way back to the Robot Arms. Despite the news he had received earlier he couldn’t help but smile. His conversation with Kate in Old New York made him realize that he wasn’t alone. He had someone who understood what he was going through.
“What are you smiling at?”
Fry stopped day dreaming and looked at his metallic roommate sitting on their ratty old couch.
“Oh, hey Bender.”
“Where did you run off to?”
“Kate and I went down to Old New York.”
“The hot detective?”
“Yeah, no wonder she’s the inspiration for Castle’s books.”
“Wow, you seem taken with her.” Bender said lighting up a cigar.
“I find her…interesting. I mean she’s smart, she’s funny, and she’s beautiful.”
“And that upsets you?”
Leela sat on her couch with her intelligent alien pet Nibbler. He sat on her lap as she stroked his fur. She had told him about her day, like she did every day, only now that she realized what an intelligent creature he was she no longer had one sided conversations with him.
“It wouldn’t upset me so much if Fry wasn’t so…smitten with her. I mean he’s supposed to be..”
She paused and sighed.
“Be what?” Nibbler asked.
“My friend.” She finally said. “I mean, he’s supposed to be by my side not running off with a woman he just met-one he knows won’t be around forever.”
“Then why don’t you tell him that? Why don’t you tell him what you’re feeling?”
“Because, it’s complicated.”
“Leela, tell me something: when it comes to Fry, what are you really scared of? That he won’t wait for you? Or that he will?”
“Smitten?” Fry said sitting down next to Bender. “First off I can’t believe you actually said that word. Second: no, I just think she’s a great person and she…she’s really helping me through this.”
Bender stared at his friend. “Oh. Your. God.”
“You nailed her, didn’t you?”
“What?! No! Bender, what is wrong with you?”
“Nothing, I’m not the one who banged a detective in the sewers.”
“Oh my God,” Fry said rolling his eyes, “We didn’t do anything! We just talked!”
Bender extended his eye narrowing on Fry’s face. “Then why is there lipstick on your upper lip?”
Fry wiped his face and stood up. “Listen, nothing happened. Okay? Just drop it.”
“Alright, alright,” Bender said as Fry went into his room. “No problem buddy.”
He watched and once Fry’s door was closed Bender pulled up his twitcher on his eyephone. “Hehe,”
Leela clutched her phone angrily and resisted the urge to throw it against the wall. Bender’s tweet from the night before was the first thing she saw that morning and she had been in a foul mood since. She told herself not to but she pulled up Bender’s profile again and stared at the words.
My flesh-wad roommate just joined the mile deep club by banging a hot detective underground! Aww yea!
Leela’s blood boiled and she tossed her phone in her locker before slamming the door, never realizing that 140 characters could hurt her so much. She walked passed Amy in the lounge and went straight to the kitchen to brew some coffee. Her hands shook in anger as she filled her mug and she gritted her teeth at the sound of the spoon against the glass. The door behind her whooshed open and the sound of footsteps filled the room as well as the sound of Fry whistling.
“Morning Leela,” he said walking up to her and motioning to his mug. “Mind pouring me a cup?”
Leela turned around and narrowed her eye. “Screw you.”
She turned on her heels and walked out of the room before Fry could say anything. Fry stood in shock and awe as Leela stormed out. Sulking against the counter he ran a hand through his hair and let out a sigh. Looking up when Amy walked in he motioned to the lounge.
“What’s with Leela?”
Amy didn’t answer. Instead she extended her arm and slapped Fry’s cheek. The contact was loud and painful and Fry placed a hand up to his face groaning.
“Ow! What the hell, Amy?”
“You’re an ass, Fry! How could you do that to Leela?!”
“All I asked her to do was pour me a cup of coffee!”
“Not that you idiot,” she said pulling out her phone. “This.”
Fry took the device and read Bender’s tweet. “What the hell? I am going to kill him!”
“Well, what do you have to say?”
He tossed her the phone and ran into the lounge where Leela was sitting on the couch with her coffee looking out the window. When Fry entered the room she turned with a teary eye and began to stand up.
“Wait, Leela, please just listen.”
“I don’t want to hear it Fry.” She said standing up and walking towards the door.
Fry ran over and blocked her by putting his arm across the door frame. “Leela please let me explain.”
“I just said I don’t want to hear it. Why don’t you go talk to Kate?” she said ducking under his arm and leaving him.
Fry watched her walk away and leaned against the door frame. “God dammit,” he whispered.
“What the hell Bender?” Fry said as he entered the locker room and found his metal friend getting cigars and booze from his locker.
“Why did you tweet that I slept with Kate?”
“Because that’s the type of juicy gossip that gets followers.”
“Well you’re removing that and telling Leela that you were lying! I’m telling you right now, I didn’t do anything with her!”
“Then why did you come home so late with lipstick on your face? It doesn’t take an idiot to put two and two together.”
Fry gritted his teeth and resisted punching his friend. Mostly because he knew that it would result in a broken hand but he also knew it wouldn’t solve anything. Neither Bender nor Leela would listen to him-everything was going downhill. Finally he just walked out leaving his robot roommate in the room alone. When he reached the hall way he turned to the left heading towards the front door ignoring Hermes yelling at him, threatening to dock his pay.
Kate sat on her bed, legs curled under her, staring out her window at the morning sun. Her emotions were jumping all over the place and she didn’t really know what she was feeling. It seemed like as soon as she was coming to terms with her feelings for Castle they did a one eighty and were now focused on Fry. But Fry and Castle were complete opposites: Castle was smart, charming, and successful. Fry on the other hand was comfortable with himself-he never seemed to need an ego boost, he was cute and sweet and most importantly he understood what it was like to have a family member killed and not know why. But Castle had become a huge part of her life ever since she met him four years earlier, Fry she had only known for a day.
The sound of a knock and two male voices pulled her out of her thoughts before she heard Castle’s voice on the other side of her bedroom door.
“Beckett, Fry’s here. He wants to talk to you.”
“Just give me a second.” She called out standing up and slipping out of the hotel robe. Quickly she put on her jeans and a black shirt she had picked up at the store the night before. Looking in the mirror she ran a hand through her hair and got the snags out before opening the door.
“Hey,” she said causing Fry to look up. “What’s up?”
“I need to talk to you,” he said sitting down on the couch in the middle of the suite. “I actually need a favor.”
“Can-uh-can you talk to Leela for me?”
“Why? What’s going on?”
“Well…” he trailed off. “Uh, Bender kind of tweeted that we slept together last night."
They turned when the sound of a coffee mug smashed against the floor. Castle awkwardly chuckled and bent down to pick up the pieces.
“That’s ridiculous. Where’d he get that idea? You didn’t tell him, did you?”
“No, of course not. But the point is, Leela’s pissed at me now and won’t listen to me. Can you talk to her? Explain what went on last night?”
“Oh, uh, I don’t know Fry. I mean, I don’t know her that well and-“
“Please? I don’t know what do.”
“Fine,” she said caving. “I’ll go talk to her.”
“Thank you!” he exclaimed hugging her.
Fry stood outside apartment 1I later that night. That morning when Beckett went to Planet Express she found out that Leela had left shortly after Fry. When she returned to her hotel Fry was still their waiting for her and she told him to go and talk to Leela himself. Reluctantly he agreed, but spent the day at home trying to figure out what to say. Finally around five o’clock he made his way to Leela’s.
Taking a deep breath he knocked on the door. He heard her footsteps approached and her door opened.
“Before you say anything, let me speak.” He said holding up his hands. “Please.”
Sighing Leela moved out of the way letting him in her apartment not wanting to start a screaming match in the hall so all her neighbors could hear.
“What is it Fry?” she asked closing the door.
“I just want to explain.”
“Explain what? How you pine after me for years and then when a woman who actually talks to you comes around, you completely forget about me? It’s happened more than once. Michelle, Colleen, Morgan, and even Amy.”
“I know I’ve hurt you, but I don’t want to see you hurt like this.” He said. “It kills me. I mean, I’m your friend-“
“Really?” Leela asked crossing her arms. “Is that all we are?”
Fry shook his head. “You know what Leela? I don’t know what we are anymore. The time we almost kissed on the Titanic, or on Xmas eve, or when you told me you loved me when I had the worms. All this stuff happened between us, but then we never talked about it. So, no, I’ve got no idea what we are. I know that I don’t want to see you be miserable for the rest of your life.”
“Well the last time I checked it’s my life-not your personal playground. And for almost ten years I’ve been running around with the schools funniest kid, and it’s not enough.”
“You know what? This isn’t about me and my relationships. This is about you needing some place to hide. Some place that you can blame all your problems on somebody else.”
Leela stared at him and finally shook her head. “You know what we are, Fry? We are through. Now get out.”
Without saying another word Fry walked past her and out the door without looking back.
Beckett and Castle sat in their hotel suite wondering aloud to each other how long it would be before Professor Farnsworth could find a way to send them home. Castle knew by now his mother and Alexis would be wondering where he was and when they couldn’t get a hold of Beckett, Ryan or Esposito they would surely be worried. They knew about their stakeout at the triad games and would probably inform Captain Gates that he never came home nor were the rest of them answering their phones.
“I just want to get home,” Beckett said, “If Captain Gates alerted our families that we’re missing my dad’s gonna be worried sick. Hopefully we can get sent back to the exact moment we were sent to the future…I never thought I’d hear myself say that.”
“Yeah, this has been one hell of an adventure.”
“So are you gonna shift from Mystery to Science Fiction novels?” she asked smirking.
“Who knows, this would make a great story. Although, I still have that idea for a time traveling killer who travels through a time ripple, commits murder goes back through the time ripple leaving the cops to find the time ripple.”
“Please stop saying ‘time ripple’” Beckett said rubbing her temples.
“Yeah…it sounds dirty, doesn’t it?”
She couldn’t help but smile and laugh at Castle’s wit. Ever since they became partners four years earlier he had made her job a little more fun. Not to mention he had been extremely helpful-no matter how hard she tried to deny it. And he had made her realized she was ready to find out what happened to her mom all those years ago. He had continued building on the corner stone the cops had given up on. Even though she was back down that rabbit hole and had a fear of losing herself, she knew she wasn’t alone this time. She had someone to keep her grounded. In those dark times Castle was either their when she needed him or gave her the space she needed to work things out.
“Poor Fry, huh?” she said. “He’s constantly rejected by the girl he loves and now she won’t even speak to him.”
“Yeah,” he said remembering the feeling over the summer after he did some investigating on Beckett’s mom’s murder. When he had told her what he had found she said they were done and walked away. He didn’t see her until the photo shoot that took place at the station that fall for his magazine article on the release of Heat Wave.
“I bet it was love at first sight for him.” she said running a hand through her hair and looking out the window.
“Do you know what I thought when I first met you?”
“That you were a mystery that I was never going to solve.”
She looked up and saw Castle staring her down.
“Even now I’m still amazed at the depth of your strength, your heart…and your hotness.”
She smiled. “You’re not so bad yourself, Castle.”
They locked eyes and Beckett felt her heart flutter. It was then she noticed how close they were sitting next to each other, how Castle’s arm was across the back of the couch almost around her shoulders. She looked away and began to stand up.
“It’s getting late, I’m gonna go to bed.”
“Kate,” he said as she walked towards the door of her room.
“Goodnight Castle.” She said before going inside and closing the door.
Kate stood in her room with her back against the door and her hands over her face. She took a deep breath and thought about everything, everything that had happened between her and Castle the past few years. Finally she turned and faced the door with her hand on the knob. Taking another deep breath she opened the door only to find Castle’s bedroom door closing.
Kate bit her lip, rolled her eyes at herself and sighed. She was about to head into her room but there was a knock at the door. Figuring it was Ryan or Esposito she decided to answer it only to find Fry on the other side.
“Hey,” he said. “Can we talk?”
The next morning Beckett took a deep breath before entering the Planet Express lounge after running into Bender, and giving him a swift kick with her heels before entering the warm building. Leela was in the lounge drinking her coffee when she walked in and Kate sat down next to her. After her conversation with Fry she promised to go and talk to Leela for him. She remembered a similar fight that she and Castle had a few days before she was shot by a sniper and she didn’t want something so dramatic and life threatening to make Leela realize her feelings for Fry.
“Hey Leela, can I talk to you?”
“What’s going on?” she said flatly.
“I want to talk to you about what happened when Fry and I went into Old New York the other night.”
“I saw Bender’s tweet, I really don’t want to hear the details.”
“It’s not what you think.” She said. “Just let me explain.”
Two nights before in Old New York, Fry looked over at Kate and their eyes locked. Without saying another word they both moved closer until their noses touched. Kate hesitated for a moment before closing her eyes and pressing her lips against Fry’s.
Their kiss was soft and gentle, and both pulled away after a moment. They made eye contact once again and then pulled away from each other.
“Uh,” Fry said finally. “Did-uh-did you…feel anything?”
“Not really,” she answered. “No offense.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
“You are really sweet Fry,” she said smiling and holding his hand. “You’re a good friend.”
“Thanks. So are you, Kate.”
“I guess your relationship with Leela and mine with Castle, no matter how complicated, are where we’re supposed to be.”
“Go talk to him,” Beckett said as she sat with Leela in the Planet Express lounge.
Leela had listened to Kate’s story and sighed. She should have just listened to Fry; maybe they both could have avoided all the pain they had caused each other the past few days. Or rather, she should have just listened to her heart years earlier. Looking over at Kate she shook her head.
“I have been so stupid,” she whispered. “I’m sorry,”
“For what?” Beckett asked.
“For all the horrible thoughts I’ve had and the things I’ve called you behind your back.”
Beckett couldn’t help but smirk. “You can make it up to me by going to see Fry.”
Smiling Leela gave her new friend a hug before walking out the door not realizing that her night was only beginning.