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Rating: PG
Pairing: Castle/Beckett
Disclaimer: I don’t own Castle or Beckett and the Space Cowboy and Companion still belong to Joss. The first and second quotes are from the movie, Serenity. The poem quoted is from Dream by Edgar Allen Poe. I own copies of both of these, but not the rights.
Challenge: 005
Notes: This was written for a challenge at the LJ site Castle fic. We were to use the prompt ‘Change’. I decided to write something that would reconcile my love of the Castle/Beckett ship and the Mal/Inara ship.


By Lattelady


Richard Castle quietly unlocked the door to his penthouse condominium. It was late. His mother and daughter were long since asleep. He was tired, but something was nibbling at the back of his mind so he headed for his study. As he passed the long front windows, his reflection was dotted with bright city lights and it made him grin at the Halloween costume he hadn’t bothered to change out of when Beckett’s call had come through. It looked like his space cowboy was standing in the Black among the stars.

Alexis was right the outfit was old but it was closer to ten years than the five she remembered. She’d been too young for it to make an impression the first time he’d worn it.

Castle took a moment to strap on the holster he’d left behind before going out into the cool night. He’d known a simulated firearm wasn’t a good idea at a murder scene, even if it was late and the body was in a cemetery. Detective Beckett wouldn’t have found it the least bit amusing. He was glad he’d left it behind, but now, well, now was different. He was free to do as he pleased and it pleased him to wear the whole costume.

Rick struck a pose with his arms loosely at his sides and his feet shoulder distance apart. With careful determination he glared back at his image while sliding open his coat with his right hand. He dragged it back until the supple leather rested on his hip, exposing the newly replaced gun.

“’Come a day there won't be room for naughty men like us to slip about at all. This job goes south, there may well not be another.” With each word Castle slipped deeper into the persona of his space cowboy. “So here is us, on the raggedy edge. Don't push me, and I won't push you. Dong-luh mah?’”

Satisfied that whomever he’d been telling off had learned his lesson, Castle sauntered over to his desk, sat down and put his feet up, long brown boots crossed at the ankles.

“Yes,” he sighed very pleased with himself. His search for the perfect costume had come to an end. Richard Castle mystery writer extraordinaire was going to disappear and for one night only, this Friday night, Captain Space Cowboy was going to take his place once again.

Rick closed his eyes, and leaned further back with his fingers laced behind his head. It would be a dark foggy night, footsteps would be muffled on the sidewalk and voices seem very far off.

If he tried hard enough, Castle could almost smell an exotic combination of incense, jasmine tea, and a light sensuous feminine fragrance that made his breath quicken. He could almost hear the soft rustle from a woman’s silk gown as its hem dragged on metal stairs and swished around corners.

The scene had played a thousand times in his head. A tall rugged space cowboy was moving fast to catch up with a slim small-boned dark haired woman who always seemed to elude him. His pace quickened as he heard the click of her slippers around the next bend in the corridor.

Then, there she was, an arm’s length away. He placed his hand on her shoulder, the material of her fringed wrap, soft beneath the leather of his glove. He, the space cowboy, whispered, “I aim to misbehave.”

The woman turned and instead of clouds of dark curls surrounding an exotic face, Kate Beckett stared back at him. Her eyes were huge and dark with surprise. She was caught off guard that he’d really pursued her.

“What the hell?” Castle gasped as his feet hit the floor of his study. It was like a bucket of cold water had been tossed over him. What was Beckett doing in one of his favorite fantasies: the captain and the companion? His dream woman had outlasted two ex-wives and too many girlfriends and one night stands to count.

This wasn’t happening. How dare Kate trespass in his imagination! “No...no...no...” he shook his head. “I barge into her world, not the other way around.” What went on inside of his head was personal and private and as much a piece of his inner core as his love for his family.

“It’s an aberration, never gonna happen again,” he muttered as he closed his eyes. But no matter how hard he tried to conjure the woman who was a composite of all the things he thought he believed were beautiful and appealing, it was Kate Beckett’s image that filled his mind.

Instead of spice and incense he caught a fleeting scent of cherries. Chocolate come-hither glances that sparked with passion or anger were replaced by serious dark eyes that warned only the most foolhardy to trespass. The small-boned, lush body was transformed until she became taller, more athletic and model-slim.

He shook his head to clear his mind. “I’ve been working too hard, concentrating on Nikki Heat too much.” It was a satisfying conclusion that allowed him to turn off the lights and head to his bedroom, while still ignoring the slight feeling of unease that persisted.

Castle would be the first to admit that he’d found Katherine Beckett physically attractive from the moment he’d laid eyes on her, but once he’d decided to base his next character on her, she was off limits, despite the way he verbally poked, prodded and flirted. He always told himself he only did it to see her reaction. It was research for his books.

Rick had changed into pajama bottoms and t-shirt and was hanging up his costume when he finally acknowledged the tiny pain in his heart. It was almost like loss. For once in his life a real flesh and blood woman other than his daughter or mother was more important to him than anything his mind could conjure.

He froze in place as he realized what that meant. The detective...ah...Beckett....ah...Kate had slipped past his defenses. The question that haunted him now was what was he going to do about it.

He’d been careful to act the right mix of aggravating twelve-year old boy and nosy writer to keep her off balance, to keep her from noticing that though he created big damn heroes on paper, he wasn’t one. Now, and the first time in his life, that mattered. The thought brought him up short.

With a sad sigh he hung up his brown coat and covered the entire costume with a protective bag. He was going to have to find something more fitting, something that said more about who he really was, if he wanted to get Kate to take him seriously.

He moved to the small bookshelf in his room. His eyes took in the titles until they stopped on a small volume of poetry. He smiled and opened the book to one of his favorite poems. “All that we see and seem is but a dream within a dream.”

In a moment his decision was made. He’d go to the party as Edgar Allen Poe. The man had written some of the most frightening stores and beautiful words Castle had ever read.

“Perfect,” Rick whispered and smiled. “But that doesn’t mean everything has changed. I know this much, I still aim to misbehave and with any luck, in the not to distant future, Ms Kate Beckett will be joining me.”

The End


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 28th, 2009 09:47 am (UTC)
I love this fic so much, and I don't say that very often.

"His dream woman had outlasted two ex-wives and too many girlfriends and one night stands to count"
I love this line because it's so very Rick. I can totally see him enjoying his space cowboy world shooting big bads, flying an outdate spaceship and chasing a certain companion.

Great story, the world is a brighter place when Castle and Firefly combine.
Nov. 28th, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. One of the reasons I haven't written much Castle up to this point was that I couldn't let go of Inara/Mal. Hopefully this will do it for me.
Nov. 28th, 2009 10:15 am (UTC)
Beautiful! I love the nod to Firefly and Mal/Inara. ♥

Castle gasped as his feet hit the floor if his study.

Small typo.. I think you meant floor OF his study. ;)
Nov. 28th, 2009 04:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the info about the typo. It's been fixed.

Glad you liked the story. I couldn't resist not to Mal and Inara once Castle left me a jumping off place.
Nov. 28th, 2009 04:23 pm (UTC)
No problem.

I'm really glad you couldn't resist. This has gone right into my memories. :)
Nov. 28th, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
wow, that's huge! I've been trying to get Inara into Rick's life in someway for about six months. The Halloween episode followed by the challenge gave me the idea how to do it. By the time I finally posted I was worried that the story was boring.
Nov. 29th, 2009 10:44 am (UTC)
6 months? Wow. That's impressive!
Definitely not a boring story. :)
Nov. 28th, 2009 01:53 pm (UTC)
A lovely combo of Castle & Firefly - funny and sweet. I love it!
Nov. 28th, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading. I love your icon!
Nov. 28th, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC)
I love it!
Nov. 28th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much. I've always known that Firefly still lived, but it is nice to see that a network TV show believes it too.

I still have hope that the Space Cowboy and his big damn heroes will fly once again.
Nov. 28th, 2009 04:45 pm (UTC)
Have you seen the trailer for "Browncoat: Redemption"? It's a fan movie that looks kinda awesome.
Nov. 28th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
I haven't. Is it on YouTube?
Nov. 28th, 2009 03:57 pm (UTC)
Ah, I love the idea of Inara as a creature of Castle's imagination. And maybe now that his muse has been replaced, so too will yours?

::bats lashes hopefully::
Nov. 28th, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked my story.

I can't make any promises about my muse. I get the feeling that Rick's dream woman might show up again in a story or two.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 1st, 2009 03:10 am (UTC)
I like to think that Castle has a wall too. He'd just better at hiding it than Beckett.

I'm glad you enjoyed my story it was fun to write.
Dec. 1st, 2009 02:49 am (UTC)
Yet another one of my fandoms you do so well at. I love it, P!

The "I barge into her world" and "to keep her from noticing that though he created big damn heroes on paper, he wasn’t one" lines are spot-on and breathtakingly, poignantly perfect.

Dec. 1st, 2009 03:08 am (UTC)
LOL thanks so much. Though I like to think Castle is deeper than he likes to appear to most people. He isn't Cain or Mal, but we'll have to see where he goes.
Jul. 13th, 2010 07:13 am (UTC)
great fic. I love the mix and the fantasy and everything.
Jul. 13th, 2010 12:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'm such a Mal/Inara shipper that I had to acknowledge her somehow.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )



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