2x22 Transcript

Transcribed by:
YasmineJenny

Formatting edits by:
McManda

CASTLE
EPISODE 2x22
“Food to Die For”

INT - RESTAURANT KITCHEN

Two men enter the kitchen. They're laughing, coming in for a early shift.

SPIKE RIDENHAUER
Ahh. You meet up with that baby last night?

JUAN COSTA
Yeah.

SPIKE
Yeah? No sleep again?

JUAN
Never. No sleep, baby. That's how we do it.

The kitchen is a mess. They look around, trying to make sense of the scene, but as they round the counter, they see it. A dead body.

SPIKE
Chef? Chef?

JUAN
Check his pulse.

JUAN goes to find a pulse, but the victim's hand is hard and cold. He lets go and the hand falls back to the floor and shatters.

SPIKE
Ah!

JUAN
Whoa.

INT - CASTLE'S LOFT

Something shatters.

RICHARD CASTLE
What broke?

ALEXIS CASTLE
A stupid glass.

She's on the ground, sweeping the broken glass.

CASTLE
Remind me to get smarter glasses. Somehow I feel that the glass is not quite the problem.

He kneels down beside her to help.

ALEXIS
I got invited to the Hamptons with Lacey's family and a couple of other friends.

CASTLE
Well, that sounds like fun. So why do you look like someone who just got voted off the island?

ALEXIS
A.P. tests are next week, so I really need to study all weekend. But I really want to go to the Hamptons.

CASTLE
The eternal struggle between work and play. The trick is, when you grow up, find work that feels like play.

ALEXIS
Speaking of work... What are you doing up and dressed so early?

CASTLE
Oh, no reason. Just thought I'd get an early start to my day.

He kisses her head.

ALEXIS
Mm-hmm. Bye.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE comes running in with coffee in his hand. He sees KATE BECKETT and TOM DEMMING come out of the break room. They're talking, joking and laughing. He's less than thrilled.

BECKETT
All right. So, um, I'll see you tomorrow night?

DEMMING
Yeah. Good. Okay.

BECKETT
Okay.

DEMMING
See ya.

DEMMING leaves.

CASTLE
What's Demming doing in our break room? Is there something wrong with the coffee downstairs?

BECKETT
Well, you're the one who bought us the cappuccino machine, Castle.

CASTLE
Yes, but I bought it for Homicide, not the entire precinct.

BECKETT
Oh.

CASTLE
What's tomorrow night?

BECKETT
What? Oh, Tom was wondering if I wanted to get together tomorrow night. Why? Is that a problem?

CASTLE
Why would I have a problem with that?

BECKETT
Hmm. (her cell is rings) Excuse me. (on the phone) Beckett. Okay. Be right there. (she nods towards the door and she walks away)

CASTLE is takes a second before he follows her.

CASTLE
(scoffs) Tom.

EST - NEW YORK CITY RESTAURANT, Q3

INT - Q3

CASTLE and BECKETT walk in. ESPOSITO is already there.

ESPOSITO
(on the phone) Right. Right.

CASTLE
The murder is at Q3? This place has only been open three months. I can't even get a reservation here. I've been dying to eat here.

BECKETT
Well, evidently, you're not the only one. Where are we?

BECKETT and CASTLE walk up to ESPOSITO just as he's hanging up the phone.

ESPOSITO
In the kitchen. Victim's name is Balthazar Wolf. He's the head chef here.

CASTLE is shocked.

CASTLE
Big Bad Wolf? Winner of Kitchen Wars, season six?

ESPOSITO
I know, right?

They follow ESPOSITO into the kitchen.

CASTLE
Aw, man. I never got to taste his foie gras sandwich.

INT - Q3 KITCHEN

ESPOSITO
He was found this morning by the pastry chef-- Spike Ridenhauer- and one of the dishwashers -- Juan Costa.

SPIKE and JUAN are giving their statements to KEVIN RYAN. ESPOSITO shows them where the body is. CASTLE is instantly intrigued.

CASTLE
Oh.

M. E PERLMUTTER
Castle, stop! D- do you not see the little orange cones around the body?

CASTLE
Is that actually his hand?

PERLMUTTER
That's the effect of LN-2. Commonly known as liquid nitrogen, a cryogenic refrigerant. It instantly freezes anything it comes in touch with, including Mr. Wolf - made him fragile as glass.

CASTLE can't hide his excitement at the way the body was discovered.

CASTLE
This is both literally and figuratively cool. Uh, Wolf was a follower of molecular gastronomy. It's using the science to manipulate the ... (PERLMUTTER and BECKETT look at him with blank expressions) ... and you don't care.

PERLMUTTER
It's usually pretty safe, unless someone dumps it on you.

BECKETT
Time of death?

PERLMUTTER
Well, all our normal indicators ... are contaminated by the LN-2. I'll see what I can do once I get to the morgue. But, uh, we're gonna have to let him thaw a bit before we can move him.

CASTLE
Looks like there was a struggle.

BECKETT
Robbery?

RYAN
No, no sign of forced entry, nothing's missing. According to Mr. Ridenhauer and Mr. Costa here, our victim stayed at the restaurant long after everyone else had left.

BECKETT
And what time was that?

RIDENHAUER
It was around 11:00. One of our clients had special ordered a cake, and Wolf stayed behind to finish it up.

They look towards a pretty extravagant cake. It looks like a lot of work went into it.

CASTLE
Aren't you the pastry chef?

RIDENHAUER
Yeah, but I don't do crazy stuff like Wolf does. I just, uh, I made the cushion, and he sculpted the crown, uh, the heart and the jewels. That's probably why he had the rotary evaporator out and the liquid nitrogen.

BECKETT
All right, after Perlmutter gets the body out, I'm gonna want CSU to come in and sweep for fibers and prints.

RYAN
Yeah, yeah.

ESPOSITO
Yo, Beckett. The owner's here.

INT - Q3 DINING ROOM

MADISON QUELLER stands with someone from their PR department, coming up with a statement.

MADISON QUELLER
Say there's been an accident.

BECKETT
Madison?

MADISON
Becks? What are you doing here?

BECKETT
I'm a homicide Detective.

MADISON
Shut the front door.

They hug.

BECKETT
I know. I- I know, right?

MADISON
What a messed up way for us to reconnect.

BECKETT
Madison Queller, this is Richard Castle.

MADISON
Hi.

CASTLE
Hi. Please call me Rick. How do you two know each other?

MADISON
High school. Ninth grade French. I can't believe the biggest scofflaw at Stuy became a cop.

BECKETT
Yeah.

BECKETT is slightly embarassed imagining what kind of stories MADISON could tell from her high school days.

INT - Q3 DINING ROOM

CSU is doing their sweep while CASTLE and BECKETT talk with MADISON.

BECKETT
So I'm gonna need contact information for all the restaurant staff.

MADISON
Come on, Becks. You think somebody here might have done it?

BECKETT
You know, no forced entry usually means that the killer either knew the chef or was someone who had keys. So I'm gonna need alibis from everyone, including you. Sorry.

MADISON
No. No, I, uh... I understand. I was at a party until the wee hours. Lots of people saw me.

BECKETT
Now, did you know if Wolf had any enemies - anyone that wanted to do him harm?

MADISON
He was the bad boy America loved to hate. I was a guest judge. That's how we met. (She's met with a blank stare from BECKETT) Seriously? You never heard of Kitchen Wars?

BECKETT
Uh... No. I don't really get a lot of time to watch TV.

MADISON
This from the girl who'd spend hours watching Saved By the Bell reruns?

CASTLE is intrigued.

CASTLE
Really? What else did she spend hours doing?

Beckett gives him a look.

BECKETT
Castle, real crime scene. Not mystery writer research time, okay? (turns back to MADISON as CASTLE mouths 'later') Did you notice anything unusual about Wolf lately? Anything at all.

MADISON
There was one thing. Wolf usually worked nonstop. You couldn't tear him away from the kitchen. But for the last couple of weeks, he'd disappear around 3:00, and come back just in time to prep at 5:00.

BECKETT
Did he say where he was going?

MADISON
No. He said it was personal.

RYAN
Hey, guys. I found something.

INT - Q3 KITCHEN

ESPOSITO is leaning over the sink.

RYAN
Juan the dishwasher was the last one here last night, and he swears he finished every single dish.

BECKETT
Two dirty bowls, two spoons and a soup pot?

CASTLE
Looks like Wolf had some late-night company.

MADISON looks at the dishes.

MADISON
It's popcorn soup. It's Domingo's specialty.

CASTLE
Domingo?

MADISON
Our line chef. He must have come back after everybody left.

BECKETT
That means he's the last one to have seen Wolf alive. Do you have an address?

MADISON
Of course.

BECKETT
(to Ryan and Esposito) All right, track down Domingo and see why he was here so late and what he saw. (to Madison) I'll also need the contact info for Wolf's next of kin.

INT - Q3 DINING ROOM

CASTLE and BECKETT are waiting for MADISON to pull up WOLF'S contact info.

CASTLE
High school friend, huh? I bet she knows where all your bodies are buried.

BECKETT
You can dig all you want, Castle. My secrets are safe with her.

CASTLE
How can you be sure?

BECKETT
Because whatever she knows about me, I know worse about her. We used to hang out, big group of us, had a good time.

CASTLE
And... what's a good time?

BECKETT
Well, if you don't know by now, I'm sure it's too late to show you one.

MADISON
Here's Wolf's emergency contact -- David Nicolaides.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

DAVID
Wolf didn't have any real family. He spent most of his childhood in and out of foster homes, which is why we're listed as, uh, next of kin. My girlfriend Cecily and I are about as close as it gets.

CECILY
They were like brothers.

BECKETT
How long did you know each other?

DAVID
Since our teens. My dad gave him a job in our restaurant as a busboy, uh, when he got out of juvie. It didn't take long to tell that he had a real gift for food. Been like family ever since.

BECKETT
Did he have any enemies that you know of?

CECILY
He had a bad-boy image from the show, but he was actually sweet.

CASTLE
Winning Kitchen Wars must have been huge for him. How was he handling it?

DAVID
He loved it -- the fame, the fortune. It was everything he ever dreamed of, except...

BECKETT
Except what?

DAVID
I- I think he might have had some financial troubles.

BECKETT
What do you mean?

DAVID
When my dad passed away a few months back, he left his restaurant to Wolf and me. It was nothing fancy like Q3. It was just a little diner in Queens. But about two weeks ago, he came to me asking if I would buy him out. I tried to talk him out of it. I even told him that I would loan him the money, but he refused. And in the end, I gave in and I bought out his share.

BECKETT
For how much?

DAVID
Forty thousand.

CASTLE
Didn't he just win a lot of money on Kitchen Wars?

DAVID
Well, he put it all into the new restaurant. I tried to tell him to hold some of it back, but he was an all-or-nothing kind of guy.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT and CASTLE are at BECKETT'S desk watching Kitchen Wars.

HOST KITCHEN WARS
Jennifer, Wolf, we've scored your dishes, and although it was very close, Balthazar Wolf, you're the winner of Kitchen Wars, New York!

CASTLE pauses the video on the screen of WOLF winning.

CASTLE
Look at his face. See how happy he is?

BECKETT
Hmm.

CASTLE
He had no idea in eight months, he'd be dead.

BECKETT'S cell phone buzzes.

BECKETT
Well, the bank has the warrant, so we should have his financials in a couple of hours. If he was having money troubles, we'll find out.

RYAN
Beckett.

RYAN and ESPOSITO walk in.

BECKETT
Hey, how'd it go with the late-night soup maker? You guys find him?

ESPOSITO
Oh, we found him all right. In line at the airport with $5,000 cash in his suitcase and a one-way ticket to Ecuador.

Uniforms are bringing in DOMINGO VERDUGO. He's not happy.

CASTLE
Mmm. Nothing says "I'm guilty" like an attempt to flee the country.

EST - TWELFTH PRECINCT, DAYTIME

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

DOMINGO is waiting when CASTLE and BECKETT walk in.

CASTLE
The next time you decide to go all Mr. Freeze on someone, you should really clean up after yourself. We found your bowls in the sink.

DOMINGO
I don't understand.

BECKETT
We found you with a packed suitcase, plane tickets to Ecuador, and $5,000 in cash.

DOMINGO
That is not a crime. I have a passport.

BECKETT
Which you were using to flee a murder.

DOMINGO
Murder? Who do you think I killed?

CASTLE
Your boss in the big white hat.

DOMINGO
Wolf? Wolf's dead? How?

He's shocked.

BECKETT
Mr. Verdugo, sit down.

DOMINGO
I did not kill anyone.

BECKETT
We know you came to see him last night.

DOMINGO
Yes. I came back to the restaurant last night. My sister, she's in Ecuador. She's very sick. She needs surgery. I came to ask Chef if I can go home.

BECKETT
$5,000 is a lot of money. Where did you get it from?

DOMINGO
Chef Wolf gave it to me for my sister's operation. Told him he was crazy, but he insisted. He said, "Go take care of your sister." Look, five years, I've worked with Wolf. He's my friend. I didn't kill him.

BECKETT
And he just happened to have 5 grand on him?

DOMINGO
Yes, in his backpack. Look, I promised to pay him back.

CASTLE
He had that much money in a backpack?

DOMINGO
Yeah, he had more, a lot more. Look, I told him he shouldn't carry so much cash. He could get... killed.

BECKETT
There was no backpack at the scene.

DOMINGO
Maybe that angry lady stole it. Maybe she's the one who killed Wolf.

BECKETT
What angry lady?

DOMINGO
One of his girlfriends. I left when she came.

BECKETT
When?

DOMINGO
After midnight, like around 12:45.

BECKETT
Do you know her name?

DOMINGO
No. But she came into the restaurant all the time.

BECKETT
Can you describe her?

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

DOMINGO is with uniforms and a sketch artist, coming up with a sketch of WOLF'S mystery woman. BECKETT hangs up her phone.

BECKETT
So the kitchen staff confirms that Wolf did have a backpack with him yesterday, and the only reason that they noticed it is because he didn't usually carry one.

CASTLE
Hmm. So Domingo was telling the truth.

BECKETT
Well, just because the backpack exists doesn't mean that the rest of his story is credible.

ESPOSITO
No, but he's telling the truth about the money. Wolf's financials came in. There's nothing out of the ordinary over the last six months, but then -- bam -- two weeks ago, he withdraws all his savings from his checking account.

RYAN
Fifteen thousand dollars.

BECKETT
2 weeks ago? That's about the time that Wolf asked his foster brother David to buy his share.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, and as soon as that check cleared, he withdrew that $40,000 in cash.

RYAN
On the day he was killed.

CASTLE
Why would someone need $40,000 in cash?

BECKETT
Well, nothing legal. You know, Madison said that he would disappear every day between 3:00 and 5:00 PM. Maybe where he went had something to do with the money. Why don't you guys talk to the kitchen staff again? And let's look into his credit card receipts. Maybe we can figure out where he was going. And where are we on the phone records?

RYAN
Oh, the SIM card was damaged from the freezing. Tech's seeing what they can salvage. And we subpoenaed his phone records from the provider. We're waiting on those.

BECKETT
Okay.

A uniformed officer brings BECKETT a sketch.

CASTLE
Mm. She looks kinda sketchy to me.

ESPOSITO laughs at CASTLE'S lame joke.

INT - Q3 DINING ROOM


MADISON is looking at the sketch.

MADISON
That's Sandra. She and her husband are in every Saturday.

CASTLE
Husband?

MADISON
Yeah.

BECKETT
Domingo hinted at a romantic relationship.

CASTLE
Which has to violate several health codes.

BECKETT rolls her eyes.

BECKETT
Do you remember their last name?

MADISON
No, no. But her information should be in the reservation book.

BECKETT
How you holding up?

MADISON
I'm still reeling, and I have no time to grieve. Wolf was a friend, but like it or not, I have to interview replacement chefs. I still haven't found that customer slip for that cake Wolf was making, and I have this charity event tomorrow night at Rocco DiSpirito's. If I don't show up, people will think Wolf's death means the death of Q3. Hey, maybe you should come with me. I could use the moral support, and maybe we can catch up on old times.

BECKETT
You know, I would love to. It's just, I have something.

MADISON
"Something"?

BECKETT smiles and widens her eyes, insinuating there's more to the story. CASTLE knows that she's talking about her date with DEMMING.

CASTLE
You know, I'm available for moral support. And I've been dying to try out Rocco's new place.

BECKETT is slightly thrown by his suggestion.

MADISON
A charming raconteur. That's just what the doctor ordered. Thank you, Rick.

CASTLE
(mumbled to BECKETT) Unless that's a problem.

BECKETT
No, not a problem.

He smiles, but it's not a happy smile.

MADISON
Oh, here it is. Sandra Meyers.

MADISON turns the appointment book toward BECKETT and points.

EST - NEW YORK CITY, MORNING

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

CASTLE and BECKETT sit across the table from a well dressed blonde woman.

BECKETT
What was the exact nature of your relationship with Wolf?

SANDRA
Food turns me on. Not as a sex toy, but the sensual act of cooking. And when I saw Wolf on Kitchen Wars, how passionate he was with his ingredients, I fell in lust. My husband and I were the first through the doors when Q3 opened. And when Wolf came by to check on our meal, I slipped him my number.

CASTLE
Did you always have sex in the restaurant?

SANDRA
Well, Wolf did his best work in the kitchen.

CASTLE'S jaw drops at her candidness. He turns to BECKETT, but she cuts him off with a sharp stomp to his foot.

CASTLE
Ow.

BECKETT
And your husband never suspected?

SANDRA
When he's not working nights at the ER., he's conked out on sleeping pills. I could shoot porn in my living room, he'd have no idea. (CASTLE and BECKETT share an awkward look) Are you gonna tell my husband?

BECKETT
You're the primary suspect in a murder investigation. Your husband is the least of your worries.

CASTLE
So what happened that night, Sandra? The sex turn deadly?

SANDRA
No, there was no sex. Two weeks ago, Wolf called me out of the blue to tell me we were through.

CASTLE
(to BECKETT) Two weeks.

SANDRA
I tried calling him, but he wouldn't call me back. So I went to the restaurant
last night to find out why.

BECKETT
And?

SANDRA
He said he was done screwing around, that it was time to grow up, turn over a new damn leaf.

BECKETT
And that clearly made you angry.

SANDRA
Sure. But I didn't kill him.

BECKETT
Mrs. Meyers, you cheat on your husband on a regular basis. Why should we believe you?

SANDRA
Ask the doorman at my building. I was back before 1:30. When I left the restaurant at 1:15, Wolf was alive.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT is writing on the murder board as CASTLE watches. ESPOSITO walks in.

ESPOSITO
Yo. Doorman confirms Mrs. Meyers' story and the hospital has Dr. Meyers logged as working the graveyard shift.

CASTLE
Well, our lying, cheating wife was telling the truth.

BECKETT
Yeah, but until we figure out Wolf's time of death, she's still our best suspect.

RYAN
Hey. So I ran down Wolf's daily disappearance. His credit card records show a charge at Cafe Rex every day the last couple of weeks around 3:45.

CASTLE
Cafe Rex? That's on 2nd in the 70's. What was Wolf doing there?

BECKETT
Why don't you guys head up and see if he was meeting with anyone? (her phone rings and she answers) Beckett. Okay. We'll be right there. (she hangs up and turns to CASTLE) Come on. Perlmutter found something.

INT - MORGUE

CASTLE
How's our corpse-sicle?

PERLMUTTER
Thawing nicely. Uh, in spite of the obvious challenges, I found enough unaffected tissue to narrow time of death to between 2:00 and 4:00 A.M.

He hands her some paperwork.

CASTLE
Well, that knocks out both Domingo and Mrs. Meyers.

PERLMUTTER
Now once we got him under the heat lamps, some bruising began to present. Uh, first... there were significant contusions along his back and legs.

She looks at the ME photos.

BECKETT
Wow. This looks like a pretty bad beating. Did this happen the night of the murder?

PERLMUTTER
Uh uh, these bruises are at least two weeks old.

CASTLE
Bruising on the body, $40,000 in cash... sold his shares in the diner to his foster brother...

BECKETT
All within the same 2-week time span.

PERLMUTTER
I also found a fresh bruise from a blow he suffered just before he was frozen. I went through the crime scene photos from CSU, and the bruise pattern matches one of the objects from the kitchen.

CASTLE
Ah! Rotary evaporator. It's a tool that chefs use to distill and extract flavors from... and again, you don't care.

BECKETT shakes her head and turns to listen to PERLMUTTER.

PERLMUTTER
Yeah, we didn't find any prints on the body of the appliance, but there were some partials on its shattered glass tube. Now the guys in the lab were able to humpty-dumpty together a usable print. Didn't match any of the restaurant employees, but when they ran it through AFIS, they got a hit.

He hands her another file.

BECKETT
Jennifer Wong.

CASTLE recognizes the name.

CASTLE
No.

BECKETT
Who's Jennifer Wong?

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

They’re watching Kitchen Wars again on BECKETT'S computer.. A woman is on screen, arguing with WOLF.

JENNIFER
You knew I was using the veal, so you went straight to the butcher and bought everything he had.

WOLF
You think I care about sabotaging you? I can cook you off the show with one hand tied behind my back. You lost because you cook with your head. I cook with my soul.

JENNIFER stabs a fish with a knife. The episode jumps to a confessional from JENNIFER.

JENNIFER
He's a liar. He stole that recipe from me. I swear to God, if Wolf wins, I'm gonna kill that son of a b itch.

CASTLE'S eyes widen as BECKETT considers her statement.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

They're replaying the show again on a laptop for JENNIFER WONG.

JENNIFER
(on tv) He stole that recipe from me. I swear to God, if Wolf wins, I'm gonna kill that son of a b itch.

BECKETT closes the laptop.

BECKETT
Sounds like you and Mr. Wolf had quite the rivalry.

JENNIFER
What about it?

CASTLE
Oh, come on. It had to be difficult, watching him walk away with that $100,000 prize. Not to mention the publicity and fame that catapulted his career.

BECKETT
And it's not hard to believe that the resentment was building up over the past couple of months until the pressure finally put you over the edge.

JENNIFER
Wait. You think I killed him? That rivalry between Wolf and me... it was just an act.

CASTLE
An act?

BECKETT
I thought that Kitchen Wars was a reality show.

JENNIFER
Emphasis on "show." And win or lose, you want people to remember your name when it's over. That's how you build your brand.

CASTLE catches on to where she's going.

CASTLE
And who doesn't remember a great villain?

JENNIFER
Exactly. Hey, we made for great TV. Why do you think they kept us on until the final two?

BECKETT
But then he won.

CASTLE
Personally, I was shocked that your oven-roasted pork belly glaze didn't take top prize. That was... just...

CASTLE gets a look from BECKETT.

JENNIFER
But look, we both won. Yes, Wolf got his own restaurant, but I secured financing for a catering company, and I'm doing great.

BECKETT
Well, then if you didn't kill him, maybe you can explain why we found your prints at the scene. They were all over the appliance used to bludgeon Mr. Wolf to death.

JENNIFER
Are you talking about the rotary evaporator? My prints are on it because it's mine. I loaned it to him the day before yesterday. He said he needed it to make something really special.

BECKETT
Wait, you saw him the day he died?

JENNIFER
He called me early in the morning and asked to meet.

CASTLE
Was he carrying a backpack?

JENNIFER
(she considers) Yeah. He seemed in a rush, like he had a lot of things to do and not a lot of time to do it. I gave him the evaporator, and then he said he had a meeting in Midtown. He asked me to drop him off on my way home.

BECKETT
And where was that?

JENNIFER
Uh, the northeast corner of 47th and Lex-- one of those big office buildings.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT is just hanging up the phone.

BECKETT
Jennifer's employees confirm that she had a catering job in the Hamptons and that she stayed the night.

CASTLE
Well, just as well. Her culinary talents would've been wasted in a prison kitchen.

ESPOSITO and RYAN walk by.

BECKETT
Hey, you guys. I need you to check on the tenants at this address.

ESPOSITO
423 East 47th?

BECKETT
Apparently, Wolf visited someone there the day that he died.

CASTLE
And he had the backpack with him.

BECKETT
Hey, how'd things go Uptown?

RYAN
Well, we talked to every waiter, busboy and manager at Cafe Rex. They remember Wolf coming in and said he sat at the same table out front, but he was always alone.

BECKETT
What was he doing?

ESPOSITO
Sipping tea, staring.

RYAN
Sometimes, he ordered the brioche.

ESPOSITO
That's right.

BECKETT
That's it? Every day for the last two weeks? Why would he go all the way to the Upper East Side just to sit there alone?

CASTLE
Maybe he had a rendezvous with destiny, and it stood him up. Which reminds me, what color shirt do you think Madison would like on me?

BECKETT gives him a look.

EST - CASTLE'S LOFT, NIGHTTIME

INT - CASTLE'S LOFT

MARTHA
Going out with Beckett's old friend?

CASTLE is wearing red gloves, protective glasses, and is freezing things in liquid nitrogen. When he drops something, MARTHA startles and CASTLE laughs.

MARTHA
That's a mistake.

CASTLE
Oh, Beckett didn't seem to mind.

MARTHA
Oh, honey.

CASTLE
Do you want to hand me an apple?

ALEXIS comes down the stairs.

MARTHA
Yeah. Stop frowning, Alexis, or your father will freeze your face like that.

ALEXIS
He doesn't have to. I just found out I have to study slides with a microscope for my AP Chem exam. I can't take a microscope to the Hamptons.

CASTLE
Oh, so you're canceling your trip?

He drops the frozen apple.

ALEXIS
Well, when I'm studying, I'll want to be on the beach with the girls, and when I'm on the beach, I'll feel guilty for not studying.

MARTHA
Well, don't look at me. I'm from the "have your cake and eat it, too" school of decision making. I say do both.

CASTLE
Or maybe by this weekend, I'll figure out a way to take this tank of liquid nitrogen and build it into a weather machine. I'll make it rain, your friends will have to cancel their trip. You won't have to choose, and then we can take over the world!

He laughs like an evil scientist.

ALEXIS
Not helpful.

CASTLE
But evil.

MARTHA
Shouldn't you be getting ready for your date?

CASTLE
Mm. Shouldn't you be back home with Chet? Oh, you're right. I... (he goes to look at his watch but drops it into the tank) Hey. I froze time.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT is walking to her desk. As she walks by the elevator the doors open and MADISON walks out. Both women are dressed up and MADISON is carrying a large basket of baked goods.

BECKETT
Maddie?

MADISON
Oh, hey.

BECKETT
You look amazing.

MADISON
Thanks. Hey, I, um... I wanted to drop this off. It's my way of saying thank you for everything you guys are doing.

She hands BECKETT the basked.

BECKETT
Oh, y-- You know, it's what we do. But we are always very grateful for cookies. I love oatmeal cookies!

MADISON
I'm glad. Hey, Becks... Do you remember when we used to like the same guy in English class?

BECKETT
Yes. Brent Edwards.

MADISON
Yes.

BECKETT
He was very hot.

MADISON
Yes. Do you also remember what happened senior year?

BECKETT
Uh, yeah. Why?

MADISON
This date with Rick. If you guys are at all...

BECKETT
Castle? N-no.

She's a little too quick to answer.

MADISON
Are you sure? Because I really wouldn't want Brent Edwards to happen all over again.

She considers. Her emotions pass across her face and she's not happy with the idea, but there's nothing she can say.

BECKETT
Trust me. It's not.

MADISON
Okay. Great.

BECKETT
So have fun tonight.

MADISON
Thanks. You, too.

MADISON leaves. BECKETT sighs, not at peace with her decision, but her confusion is short lived as DEMMING enters and she composes herself.

DEMMING
Hey.

BECKETT
Hey. Uh, so you ready?

TOM
No. My lieutenant just brought down the hammer. Fives have to be written up before shift end tonight. I'm sorry.

BECKETT
Uh, no. Uh, you know, I have-- I have, uh, some paperwork to do as well. So maybe another time.

TOM
Well, the thing is, I kinda had my heart set on tonight. You like Chinese?

She smiles.

BECKETT
It's my favourite.

TOM
Great. Wait here.

She's left to wonder what he has planned, happy that someone is making her a priority.

INT - ROCCO DISPIRITO'S RESTAURANT

MADISON and CASTLE are ready for dinner, enjoying a glass of wine when ROCCO approaches.

ROCCO
Madison, I'm so sorry.

MADISON
Hi.

ROCCO
It's a tragic loss. Wolf was a good friend.

MADISON
Yeah, he really admired you.

ROCCO
Thanks for coming tonight. It means a lot to me.

MADISON
Rocco, this is Richard Castle.

ROCCO
I ought to punch you in the face, Castle... (CASTLE looks stunned) ... for killing Derrick Storm like that. He was my favourite character. (MADISON and CASTLE give a forced laugh at the lame joke.) But I'll admit, Heat Wave's fun, too.

MADISON
Based on my friend, Kate Beckett. I should introduce you. You guys might hit it off.

CASTLE'S expression changes to one of shock at MADISON'S suggestion.

ROCCO
I'd like that. If she's half as interesting in person as she is on the page, I think I like her already. Well, you guys have fun. Enjoy your dinner.

CASTLE
Thanks.

MADISON
Fabulous chef.

CASTLE is still stuck on MADISON'S suggestion to play matchmaker for ROCCO and BECKETT.

CASTLE
You... you really think he's Beckett's type?

MADISON
Well, Becks never had a type. She dated a guitarist in a grunge band, a med student, and this French guy, but I'm pretty sure he was some kind of royalty. Who is she seeing now?

CASTLE
Oh, just... some guy. I don't see it going anywhere.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT WORKROOM

DEMMING has fashioned together a date situation. They have Chinese takeout, but he's lit a candle for ambiance. BECKETT can't hide her smile.

BECKETT
This food's amazing. Where did you get it from?

TOM
Hung's China Sea.

BECKETT
Oh, get out. Hung's doesn't deliver.

TOM
Well, he delivers to me. (She gives him a look) Mr. Hung had this medal-- a 15th-century Chinese medal, Ming Dynasty. It was passed down through the generations, right? Well, last year it was stolen along with some cash and some kitchen appliances and whatnot. The only thing that mattered to Mr. Hung was the medal. So I got it back for him. And because I delivered, now so does he.

BECKETT
Really? Hmm. Well, then maybe I should get you to figure out why our victim was carrying a backpack full of cash.

TOM
Well, maybe you should. You know, I got some guys on the street. If you want, I can put out feelers, see if anybody knows anything.

BECKETT
Yeah, sure.

RYAN and ESPOSITO open the door.

ESPOSITO
Excuse me, Detectives.

BECKETT
Hey, guys.

ESPOSITO
Wow. Nice candle.

She smirks at them.

BECKETT
Come on in. What'd you find?

ESPOSITO
Well, we checked the sign-in log at that building where Jennifer Wong dropped off Wolf.

BECKETT
Mm-hmm.

ESPOSITO
Turns out he was seeing a guy named Simon Haim, Esquire.

BECKETT
He was delivering a backpack full of cash to a lawyer?

RYAN
Well, according to Mr. Haim, Wolf had the backpack in his possession, but he never opened it and he never even mentioned the cash.

ESPOSITO
But he did mention your high school friend, Madison. Apparently, Wolf wanted out of his contract. He wanted to leave the restaurant, and he wanted his investment back.

TOM
But the restaurant just opened. Why would he want to leave?

RYAN
Creative differences, but Ms. Queller refused to release him. Wolf was planning to sue.

BECKETT
She'd built the restaurant on his reputation. If he left, she would've lost everything. So what happens to Q3 now that Wolf is dead?

ESPOSITO
She had business insurance on him. So with the payout, Madison gets the restaurant, free and clear.

RYAN
Wolf's death protects her from potentially losing $2 million in real estate, appliances and fixtures.

TOM
Sounds like motive to me.

INT - ROCCO DISPIRITO'S RESTAURANT

CASTLE and MADISON are enjoying course after course of delicious food.

MADISON
Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

CASTLE
This... Mmm.

MADISON
Mmm.

CASTLE
Right?

MADISON
Mm. Oh, my God.

CASTLE
This is...

MADISON
This caviar parfait is delicious.

CASTLE
Trade you for some of my black truffle risotto with crispy shrimp.

MADISON
Oh, well... how could I resist?

BECKETT walks into the dining room just in time to see CASTLE and MADISON feeding each other. She walks toward their table.

CASTLE
Mmm. Oh. Mmm. That is...

BECKETT
I'm sorry to interrupt.

MADISON
Hey.

CASTLE
Beckett. What are you doing here?

The question is simple but his actions seem a little jumpy.

BECKETT
I- I need to ask Madison a few questions.

MADISON
Oh, well, pull up a chair.

BECKETT'S seriousness is lost on her.

BECKETT
Not here. Downtown.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE is walking with BECKETT toward the interrogation room.

CASTLE
You realize Madison and I weren't halfway through our tasting menus when you stomped in there like the fun police?

BECKETT
What part of her being a suspect in a murder investigation do you not get?

CASTLE
The waiter was about to come out with the duck confit en croute, Rocco Dispirito's pumpkin gnocchi, not to mention the langoustine, the lavender crème brûlee that was coming up. And don't even get me started on the wine pairings.

BECKETT
I won’t.

CASTLE
I'm just saying, you could've been more civilized and allowed us to finish our meal.

He tries to follow her into the interrogation room but she stops him.

BECKETT
Unh-unh. You can watch from the observation room.

CASTLE
And now... (he drops his voice) And now you're benching me?

BECKETT
You were just giggling over the risotto with our suspect.

He heads to the observation room, resigned.

CASTLE
Which was to die for, by the way.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

BECKETT talks a second to compose herself, but MADISON is ready to talk.

MADISON
Okay. Next time I'm hitting on a guy you like, come clean with me before I go out with him so you don't have to arrest me to break up the date.

BECKETT
Madison, that's not—

MADISON
No, no, no, no, no. I get it. You're hot for Castle. You want to make little Castle babies. Why couldn't you just be honest?

BECKETT'S eyes widen.

BECKETT
(whispered) Maddie.

MADISON
What?

BECKETT
(whispered) He can hear us.

MADISON
Oh, really?

BECKETT
Yes.

MADISON
Rick's behind the mirror?

BECKETT
Yeah.

MADISON
Oh. Like on tv? (she waves at the glass, at CASTLE) Hey there! Sorry we missed the pumpkin gnocchi. They're really good. (There's a knocking on the glass from CASTLE, and MADISON laughs) I have to Tweet about this.

She walks back around the table, her phone in her hand. BECKETT is not amused.

BECKETT
Madison, put the phone down. (MADISON stops) Sit. You lied to me. You knew that Wolf wanted out of Q3, and you knew that he was gonna sue you.

MADISON
You know about that?

BECKETT
Yeah, I know about that.

MADISON
Okay, but I didn't lie. I just neglected to say anything about it. Okay, you know how hard it is to open a restaurant in Manhattan? If word got out that Wolf was trying to leave, it would've ruined me.

BECKETT
But if he dies, with your insurance policy, you make out just fine. So what happened, Maddie? Did you guys get into a fight? Did you throw something at him? Because I remember you throwing things at people when you got angry.

MADISON
Oh, come on. Don't you people have rules about using personal knowledge against suspects?

BECKETT
Maddie, you better start being straight with me.

MADISON
Becks, I didn't kill him. Two weeks ago, Wolf tells me he wants out of the restaurant biz, completely out of nowhere. Says he's trying to change his life. Now I'm thinking he's being poached. So I start offering better equipment, a bigger piece in the business, whatever he wants. He insists he's really getting out and that I can't change his mind. It was like something changed in his life. Now I was gonna let him out of his contract. I just needed time to find a new chef. But I swear, Becks, I didn't kill him.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE and BECKETT come into the bullpen after MADISON'S interrogation.

CASTLE
You don't really think she did it, do you?

BECKETT
Well, until I can rule her out, it doesn't matter what I think. She has motive.

CASTLE
Yeah, she also has an alibi, which you're conveniently ignoring.

BECKETT
I'm not ignoring. I'm just rechecking. I asked her to stay in town in any case.

CASTLE
Yes, I know. I heard... (he pauses and smirks) everything.

She stops and meets his gaze but chooses not to acknowledge his statement.

BECKETT
Uh... so, uh, selling his stake in the restaurant, a backpack full of cash... That sounds like Wolf was getting ready to run.

CASTLE doesn't want to let MADISON'S insinuation go, but he doesn't push.

CASTLE
Yes, but from what?

DEMMING comes around the corner.

DEMMING
Hey, you guys.

CASTLE'S face falls.

BECKETT
Hey. I'm so sorry to cut out on you earlier.

DEMMING
No worries. It gave me time to put the word out on your vic.

BECKETT
And?

TOM
Well, a guy I know runs paper for a local bookmaking ring. Turns out he's a bit of a foodie. He clocked Wolf doing business with a bookie at Two Bridges bar. Apparently, your boy likes to bet big.

CASTLE
He was in deep with a bookie.

BECKETT
That explains the beating and the cash. Does this bookie have a name?

INT - NEW YORK CITY BAR

WESLEY SLADE is playing pool in what looks like a biker bar. CASTLE and BECKETT approach him.

BECKETT
Wesley Slade? Detective Beckett, NYPD. We're investigating the murder of Balthazar Wolf.

WESLEY
Never heard of him.

She scoffs.

BECKETT
Really? Well, given the marks on his body after the beating your boys gave him, I think you have.

CASTLE
What happened? He get in too deep with you, so you had to take him out?

WESLEY
You really think I'm gonna tell my business to a cop?

BECKETT
It's either that or you face murder charges. That can't be good for business.

WESLEY puts down his pool cue and turns to face them.

WESLEY
All right. Let's say, hypothetically, that I made book for him. And let's say for the sake of argument that he owed me a lot.

CASTLE
How much, hypothetically?

WESLEY
25 thou, which maybe he couldn't pay. So maybe he needed some encouragement.

BECKETT
Maybe the encouragement went too far.

WESLEY
Or maybe it was the right amount. So he paid what he owed and went his merry way.

BECKETT
When?

WESLEY
The day he died, he comes in with a backpack full of cash, puts 25 thou on the table and asks for his ring back.

CASTLE
His ring? What kind of ring?

WESLEY
Diamond engagement ring.

BECKETT
Why'd you have it? Hypothetically.

WESLEY
Couple of weeks back, I sent my guys to collect, didn't have the money, gave some sob story about a woman, how he spent everything he had on a diamond ring. So when my guys go to give him some... encouragement, oh, what do they find? A nice diamond ring. Nice. Must have set him back 10, 15 grand... of my money.

CASTLE
So your guys took it for collateral?

WESLEY
No, as incentive. And it worked. I got my money, he got his ring, and he goes home alive... hypothetically.

They walk away.

CASTLE
An engagement ring makes perfect sense. That's why he broke things off with Mrs. Meyers. That's why he took $15,000 out of his account two weeks ago.

BECKETT
Well, then where is it? He went to the restaurant right after, and we didn't find it at the crime scene.

CASTLE
Unless we did find it and we just didn't know it.

INT - Q3 KITCHEN

An employee points CASTLE and BECKETT toward the back of the kitchen. CASTLE moves quickly, on a mission. BECKETT trails behind.

MAN
Just straight back.

CASTLE
Thank you. (to BECKETT) You remember what Spike was saying about why Wolf was staying late?

BECKETT
Yeah, he was finishing off that cake.

CASTLE opens the door to the refrigerator. The cake is still there. CASTLE starts to examine it and grabs the heart off the top.

CASTLE
A cake... with a heart-shaped mold on it. (He smashes the mold on the counter and a ring comes out of it.
He holds the ring out to BECKETT and her jaw drops.) He wasn't running away. He was going to propose.

She takes the ring.

BECKETT
But to who? And why hasn't she come forward yet?

CASTLE
Maybe she's scared. Maybe she's in danger.

BECKETT
Or maybe she killed him.

EST - CASTLE'S LOFT, DAYTIME

INT - CASTLE'S LOFT


CASTLE and MARTHA are working in the kitchen.

MARTHA
Who puts an engagement ring inside a cake?

CASTLE
It's romantic.

MARTHA
Oh, pl-- it's a choking hazard. I swear, men act as though there's some cosmic reward for crazy proposals. And what a woman really wants is a man down on one knee, tears in his eyes, ring in his hand.

CASTLE
My proposal to Gina was very romantic.

MARTHA
A balloon ride is lovely, but not in February.

He considers this.

CASTLE
Her hand was shaking so much from the cold, it was difficult getting that ring on.

MARTHA
It was a sign.

CASTLE
Mm.

MARTHA
Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

ALEXIS walks into the room.

CASTLE
So have you decided?

ALEXIS
No.

She turns away and walks upstairs, annoyed. CASTLE and MARTHA just look at each other.

MARTHA
Ah.

EST - NEW YORK CITY, DAYTIME

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT has called in DAVID again, to talk more about WOLF. He's leaving.

BECKETT
Again, David, I'm sorry for your loss.

CASTLE
Hey. Shed any light?

She heads towards her desk. CASTLE follows. They stop in front of the murder board.

BECKETT
So David said that he wouldn't have believed it unless I'd shown him the ring. He had no idea who Wolf was proposing to, and neither did anyone else in his life. It's like the guy was in love with a ghost.

CASTLE
Ooh, that'd be cool, if it was actually a ghost.

BECKETT gives CASTLE a look and RYAN enters.

RYAN
Went back through the phone logs from the restaurant and Wolf's cell. Every call's accounted for.

BECKETT
What about the cafe uptown?

ESPOSITO
The waitstaff all checked out. They're adamant that Wolf never met anybody there.

CASTLE
How do you have a relationship with somebody without leaving any evidence?

ESPOSITO
Maybe the ring wasn't his. Maybe he was holding it for a friend.

CASTLE
No, it had to be his. Look at his behaviour-- he stops sleeping around, he was paying off his debts, he sold the one thing in life he actually cared about just to get that ring back. There's only one reason a man cleans up his act.

RYAN
Ahh.

BECKETT
Yeah, but murder isn't the usual response to a proposal.

CASTLE
Unless you got something to lose.

ESPOSITO
He did like married women.

BECKETT
All right. Have CSU re-sweep his apartment. If this girl spent any time there, she must have left some evidence behind. (she looks behind her) Hey, Maddie. Thanks for coming.

MADISON
I thought you said I was off the hook.

BECKETT
Yeah, uh, witnesses have you at the party until after the time of death.

MADISON
Then why am I here?

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT WORKROOM

BECKETT has shown MADISON the ring.

MADISON
(holding the ring) Anyone ever offered you one of these?

BECKETT
No. You?

MADISON
Not yet. I had no idea Wolf was even serious with anyone.

BECKETT
Can you think of any girl that he was close to?

MADISON
Every time I saw him, he was with someone different. It's hard to believe he'd ever commit.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE sits with RYAN and ESPOSITO in front of the murder board.

ESPOSITO
The guy lived his job 24/7. It had to be somebody at the restaurant.

CASTLE
Not necessarily. I've fallen in love with random women on the subway.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT WORKROOM

BECKETT
Well, if you can think of anyone, call me.

MADISON
Yeah. And, Becks... I'm sorry... about lying to you.

BECKETT
And I might have come down a little harder than I needed to.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN
I've fallen in love with operators on the phone. Even asked one out a couple of years ago, but she was in Bangladesh.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

MADISON
Yeah, I guess I wasn't seeing you as a cop, but as my friend-- you know, the girl who stole her mom's makeup to give me a makeover, the first who told me that kissing boys might involve some tongue.

BECKETT
Oh, yeah. (laughs)

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO
I bought a falafel from this stand every day for two months just so I could talk to the falafel girl.

RYAN
Yeah, you mean like Demming showing up every morning for coffee just to run into Beckett?

There's an awkward silence. CASTLE'S face falls and ESPOSITO shakes his head. RYAN realizes his mistake, but CASTLE has an insight. He stands.

ESPOSITO
What?

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT WORKROOM

MADISON
The one who dragged me to stand outside Brent Edwards' brownstone for hours on end just to catch a glimpse of him through the window.

This triggers a thought for BECKETT.

BECKETT
Through the window. Oh.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE
Wolf wasn't going to Café Rex to meet his girl.

BECKETT
He was watching her out the cafe window.

CASTLE
That's why there were no phone calls.

BECKETT
He was trying to gather up the courage to propose to her.

EST - NEW YORK CITY, DAYTIME

EXT - NEW YORK CITY STREET

CASTLE and BECKETT are crossing the street in front of Cafe Rex.

BECKETT
So that's the store with the clearest view from the cafe.

They walk into the store.

CASTLE
Well, either our mystery girl works here, or Wolf was really into women's clothes. (he sees a male employee) Maybe it's him. Maybe that's Wolf's big secret.

BECKETT
That's not his secret. She is.

CASTLE looks where BECKETT is looking.

CASTLE
That's his foster brother's girlfriend.

BECKETT
Yep.

CECILY catches sight of them.

CASTLE
Well, it definitely made proposing tricky.

EST - TWELFTH PRECINCT, DAYTIME

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

CECILY is at the table opposite CASTLE and BECKETT.

CECILY
I don't understand. Why am I here?

BECKETT
How well did you know Wolf, Cecily?

CECILY
He was like family.

BECKETT
So you knew him for a long time.

CECILY
Well, ten years, ever since David's father hired me at his restaurant.

BECKETT
Did the two of you ever...

CECILY
Why are you asking me this?

BECKETT
Every day for the last two weeks, Wolf went to Cafe Rex, which is right across the street from where you work. He would just sit there and look out the window.

CASTLE
Looking at you.

BECKETT
Now why would he do that?

CECILY
I don't know.

BECKETT
I think you do.

CASTLE
In the last two weeks, Wolf made a lot of changes. He'd stopped sleeping around, paid off all his debts...

BECKETT
And he bought this... (she passes CECILY an evidence bag with the engagement ring in it and CECILY gasps) For you.

CASTLE
What makes a man- a self-professed bad boy-- suddenly declare himself after ten years? Unless something changed.

BECKETT slides some papers across the table.

BECKETT
Cecily, these are your phone records. Four months ago, you started calling your OB/GYN regularly. You're pregnant. It's Wolf's, isn't it?

CECILY concedes, teary.

CECILY
No one was supposed to know. It was supposed to be my secret. But when David told Wolf we were pregnant, somehow he knew. He... He... he knew. God, you must think I'm awful.

BECKETT
It's not my job to judge. I'm just here to get the truth.

CECILY
David's father had just died, so David went out of the country to bury his father in his hometown. Wolf came by. He held my hand, and I remembered... how much I loved him, that I'd always loved him.

CASTLE
If you loved him so much, why stay with David?

CECILY
Because David doesn't leave. David doesn't sleep with every girl who walks by. You have no idea how hard it is to love someone, knowing they're gonna break your heart. If I couldn't trust him as a man, how could he be a father? I had to make a choice. Oh, God. Please don't tell David.

BECKETT
Are you sure he doesn't already know? Where was he the night that Wolf was murdered?

CECILY
At home... with me in bed.

CASTLE
All night?

She remembers.

CECILY
Oh, God.

BECKETT
What?

CECILY
I had been having trouble sleeping. So David gave me a pill, the kind the doctor said was okay. It was the only time he's ever given me a pill.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN and ESPOSITO come out the interrogation room with DAVID. He's glaring as they hand him over to uniforms so they can take him to lockup. After he's gone the boys join BECKETT and CASTLE at her desk.

ESPOSITO
He's not talking.

RYAN
Yeah, but he didn't have to. We found Wolf's backpack in their apartment along with the extra cash.

ESPOSITO
We also found a pair of his shoes with cracked soles from the liquid nitrogen.

RYAN
I can't imagine the betrayal he must have felt.

BECKETT
It's still not an excuse to kill.

CASTLE
You ask me... she should've followed her heart-- left David, gone with Wolf.

BECKETT
You know, I can see the virtue in staying. I mean, guys like Wolf, they come in, they upset the apple cart. Of course he makes you feel alive, but eventually, you know he's just gonna let you down. So why risk it?

He tries to understand her reasoning but he comes up short.

CASTLE
Because the heart wants what the heart wants. Speaking of... I gotta get outta here.

Her face falls as he stands and grabs his jacket.

BECKETT
Madison?

CASTLE
No. Actually, with everything going on, she said she didn't have time to date. She didn't tell you that?

BECKETT
Mnh-mnh.

She's quick on the denial, hoping CASTLE doesn't notice she cared.

CASTLE
So I gotta get home. Alexis has a little head-heart problem of her own, and I want to be there for the decision.

She smiles as he walks away. She doesn't have much time to think before DEMMING appears by her desk.


DEMMING
Case closed?

Whatever head/heart problems BECKETT is having of her own, she's happy to see DEMMING.

BECKETT
Yes. Thank you so much for all of your help.

DEMMING
Anytime. But, you know, we never really finished our dinner. No more fives. You want to grab a beer and a burger at Remy's?

BECKETT
You know, I would love to, it's, just, uh... can I take a rain check?

DEMMING
Somewhere else you need to be?

BECKETT
Yeah. How about tomorrow?

DEMMING
Yeah. You're on.

BECKETT
Okay.

She smiles and stands, throwing her jacket over her shoulder before she leaves.

INT - CASTLE'S LOFT

CASTLE comes home to find ALEXIS sitting on the couch. She's got her bags packed next to her and a book in her lap.

CASTLE
Oh. You decided to go away for the weekend with your friends.

ALEXIS
They're picking me up in an hour.

CASTLE
You don't sound thrilled with your decision.

ALEXIS
I'm not. I feel awful about it, but either way, it's the same.

CASTLE
Well, is there anything I can do to make it easier on you?

She has an idea and her demeanor lightens.

ALEXIS
Yes. You can order me to stay home.

CASTLE
Y-you're serious? (she nods) All right. (seriously) Alexis, your A.P. exams are far too important for you to go gallivanting around the weekend with your friends at the beach. You have to stay home and study. I insist.

ALEXIS hugs him.

ALEXIS
Oh, I gotta call Lacey. (on the phone) Lacey. Yeah, I'm so sorry. But my dad just told me I can't go. I have to stay home and study for exams this weekend. Yeah, I know. I know. Can you believe it? Yeah, so much for having a cool dad.

CASTLE
Dude--

She cuts him off by placing her hand on his face.

ALEXIS
Well, I'm sorry. And just take lots of pictures and text 'em to me. Okay. Bye. (to CASTLE) Thank you.

He pulls her in for a hug.

CASTLE
You won't be thanking me when you see what I have planned for this weekend. 1,001 ways to distract someone who's studying. We start by freezing ping-pong balls.

ALEXIS
Hey!

He pulls her off the couch, ready for a weekend of distraction.

INT - Q3 DINING ROOM

It's reopening night for Q3 and the staff is dressed and waiting, receiving orders from MADISON.

MADISON
Okay, guys, let's remember to be sharp, respectful and attentive. Okay? Have a good night. (to Beckett, who just walked in) Hey!

BECKETT
Hey, you're reopening.

MADISON
Yes. I found a hot new chef to step into Wolf's shoes.

BECKETT
Oh, that's so great.

MADISON
Yeah.

JENNIFER WONG steps out from behind MADISON.

JENNIFER
Hello, Detective. You're not here to question me again?

BECKETT
No, I'm just here as a friend. Congratulations.

JENNIFER
Thank you.

MADISON
So David killed Wolf?

BECKETT
Yeah. It turns out that he intercepted a text that Wolf sent Cecily asking about the baby. And at first, he was gonna approach Cecily about it until he realized that eventually she would leave him as long as Wolf was alive.

MADISON
Wow. Very Cane and Abel.

BECKETT
Yeah. So I take it that you're swamped.

MADISON
Always. Why?

BECKETT
I thought that we could get a drink and catch up.

MADISON
That'd be great. Apparently, we have a lot of catching up to do.

BECKETT smiles, happy to be hanging out with an old friend.

THE END

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