5x06 Transcript

Transcribed by:
McManda
CASTLE
EPISODE 5x06
"The Final Frontier"


INT – NEBULA-9 FAN EXPERIENCE

FIRST MATE
Captain, new contact on long range sensors. Creaver battleship closing fast.

GABRIEL WINTERS
Demagnify. (the image zooms out) Oracle, chances for crew survival if we engage?

ORACLE
All weapon systems are disabled. The alien vessel has superior firepower. Chances of survival, .1 percent.

WINTERS takes a moment.

WINTERS
That’s a rosy prediction. (he turns) We will live to fight another day. Prepare for flash warp.

FIRST MATE
Captain Max. Lieutenant Chloe hasn’t reported back from Ariel’s moon.

WINTERS
Hold blast warp! We’re not leaving without her.

FIRST MATE
But sir, if we don’t warp in time all of humanity will be lost.

WINTERS
And if we don’t wait for Lieutenant Chloe, our humanity will be lost.

A siren sounds.

NAVIGATOR
Captain! The Creavers have fired ion torpedoes.

WINTERS
Shields up! Man battle stations.

NAVIGATOR
Impact in 9 seconds.

WINTERS
Status on Lieutenant Chloe?

FIRST MATE
She teleported, sir. She’s back on our ship.

WINTERS
Initiate flash warp.

PILOT
Initiating in 3 … 2 … 1.

The screen explodes and the set starts to shake.

PILOT
Warp successful.

WINTERS smiles and the door opens. He turns to look.

WINTERS
Lieutenant Chloe. You’re back.

LIEUTENANT CHLOE
And so is my Thorian blaster.

She shoots him in the chest and he doubles over.

WINTERS
(whispered) Why?

He falls out of his chair.

CHLOE
I’m with the Creavers now. (she steps over his body to take his seat) And this ship is under my command.

The lights come up and the group of people start to cheer.

PILOT
That was so freaking cool!

WINTERS
Thank you for serving under me today on the Nebula-9 Fan Experience. Please, return to the dressing rooms and leave your uniforms with the attendant. And may fortune guide your journey.

"CHLOE" sighs and the rest of the group claps.

NAVIGATOR
Check out the Oracle pod. (she hits a button and it opens) Man, the Oracle looks so real.

FIRST MATE
I think she is real. (he looks closer) And I think she’s dead.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, DAYTIME

INT – SUPERNOVA CON

RICHARD CASTLE has a booth and he’s signing copies of his new graphic novel Storm Season.

RICHARD CASTLE
And … here you go.

He hands the signed book to JONATHAN FRAKES. FRAKES shakes his hand. He’s decked out in Castle fan-gear, down to his “I <3 Richard Castle” t-shirt.

JONATHAN FRAKES
Thanks. I’m your number one fan.

CASTLE
Well, thanks for coming. (he watches him walk away) How far they fall.

He doesn’t bother to look up when the next person is in front of his table.

CASTLE
All right, where do you want it?

KATE BECKETT
(falsetto) Could you sign my chest?

CASTLE looks up shocked.

BECKETT
(amused) Wow. That actually caught your attention.

CASTLE
What are you doing here?

BECKETT
You’d know if you answered your phone.

CASTLE
Listen, if you want your very own signed copy of Storm Season I’d be happy to arrange a private signing.

BECKETT
Cap your pen, Castle. There’s been a murder here.

CASTLE
Here at Supernova Con?

BECKETT
Mmhmm.

CASTLE
(thrilled) Shiny.

INT – SUPERNOVA CON

CASTLE and BECKETT wander toward the crime scene. They pass all sorts of sci-fi characters and booths.

CASTLE
You gotta admit, this is a genius place to commit a murder. I mean, you don a costume, strike down your intended target, and then melt into the crowd unseen.

BECKETT
You sound like you’ve actually thought about this, Castle.

CASTLE
Ah, I used to come here a lot. Alexis and I would come here every year and dress up. You should have seen her looking like a little pint sized Princess Leia.

BECKETT
And you were?

CASTLE
Ah… Darth Vader, of course. So, who is our victim? Did Doc Ock finally catch up with Spiderman?

BECKETT
Think more TV starship.

CASTLE
Oh! Um … Borg attack?

BECKETT
Uh uh.

CASTLE
Cylon skin job? Please say Number 6.

She gestures to the spaceship entry in front of them.

BECKETT
Nope. Nebula-9.

CASTLE
Really?

BECKETT
Mmhmm.

CASTLE
I’m sorry, but how is Nebula-9 worthy of all this? I mean, they were canceled over a decade ago after 12 episodes. (murmured) Which was 12 episodes too many.

Her face falls.

BECKETT
I thought you would be a fan.

CASTLE
I’m a fan of good sci-fi. Star Trek, Battlestar, that Joss Whedon show. But Nebula-9? No, no. That’s all phony melodrama and lifeless acting.

They walk into the ship set and stop. BECKETT is thrilled.

CASTLE
Okay, this is a cool ship. The show is still lame, but this is a cool ship.

JAVIER ESPOSITO
Yo.

BECKETT
Hey, so who’s our vic?

ESPOSITO
Annabelle Collins. She’s 28. Looks like she was killed and then stashed in that pod. She’s the one that put together this whole Nebula-9 Fan Experience reenactment thing.

CASTLE
An impressive, if misguided, effort.

BECKETT glares at him.

ESPOSITO
With you, bro. Give me Blade Runner. A bleak dystopian future where sexy replicates ride? (he fistbumps with CASTLE before he turns to BECKETT) How about you, Beckett? What do you –

He trails off at her glare.

BECKETT
Have you found next of kin?

ESPOSITO
Actually on my way to do that.

He slides past them. CASTLE and BECKETT move farther into the ship to take a look.

CASTLE
Perlmutter. Good to see you.

SIDNEY PERLMUTTER
Ah, if only the feeling were mutual.

CASTLE doesn’t respond, keeps his face blank.

BECKETT
So when was she killed?

PERLMUTTER
Well, based on liver temp, last night between 10 and 11PM. The bigger issue is how she was killed. (he flips open a magnifying glass and holds it over the wound) Now, I believe death came by way of this rather fascinating small diameter puncture to her heart.

CASTLE
Stab wound.

PERLMUTTER
Castle, think! How would that explain the first degree burns on the skin around the wound?

CASTLE
Well, that could be powder burns from a close range gunshot.

PERLMUTTER
Yeah, but the burns should have gunpowder stippling. Particulates seared into the flesh. Not only that, there would be blood spatter.

CASTLE is rather amused at his confusion.

BECKETT
So what caused the wound?

PERLMUTTER
(hesitates) No clue. Never seen anything quite like it. I should know more once I get her on the slab.

He gets his assistant to help him wheel away the body.

KEVIN RYAN
Hey. So I just finished taking witnesses' statements. Uh … none of these folks knew the victim or were here during time of death.

BECKETT
Yeah, we’re going to have to find witnesses that were.

CASTLE
Someone must have seen the killer entering or leaving the ship last night.

RYAN
Yeah, but how would we locate them? There’s thousands of people here.

BECKETT
You know what? You could leave a message on the Nebula-9 fansite asking for anyone that was here between 10 and 11 last night and just let them know that you’re going to meet them at the front of the ship.

RYAN gives her a look.

RYAN
(knowingly) Nebula-9 fansite?

She knows she’s been caught as a fan herself but she plays it off.

BECKETT
Yeah. I understand that they have a very loyal fan- (she stops when she sees WINTERS come through the doors) fanbase. Is that - ?

She looks at the man that just entered the set. He’s still dressed in a space uniform.

RYAN
Gabriel Winters, aka the real Captain Max Renard. He knew the victim.

CASTLE is skeptical but BECKETT tries to keep her enthusiasm under wraps.

BECKETT
And?

RYAN
Oh, I tried to talk to him but he said he needed a minute to “muse upon the fragile nature of human life”.

BECKETT
Well, his minute is up.

She practically skips over to him and extends her hand.

BECKETT
Hi, um … Mr. Winters. I’m Detective Kate Beckett and –

WINTERS
I’m devastated.

He’s looking past them and CASTLE awkwardly pulls his hand back.

WINTERS
Ravished by sorrow. Reminded me of the moment when First Officer Tate was sucked into that wormhole in episode 6.

CASTLE
Except in this case … someone actually died.

WINTERS
Yeah.

CASTLE has to roll his eyes at his weird melodramatic attitude.

BECKETT
Now, I understand that you knew Annabelle. Do you have any idea who could have done this to her?

WINTERS
No idea. Annabelle was spectacular in every way. When Nebula-9 was canceled – unjustly, I might add (BECKETT tries to hide her smile) – she kept interest in the show alive. How will I go on without her?

CASTLE
Go on living?

WINTERS
Go on doing the Fan Experience. (he claps CASTLE on the shoulder) She contacted me a few months ago, asked me to be a part of this. I was thrilled to give back to the Nebula-9 community.

BECKETT
When was the last time you saw her?

WINTERS
(sighs) About 9 o’clock last night, after the Fan Experience ended. I went back to my hotel, stayed in for the night. Last time I saw Annabelle she was alone on the bridge.

CASTLE looks over to the captain’s chair.

WINTERS
And may fortune guide her journey. (BECKETT gives him an awkward smile) But the show must go on. When do you think we can get this back up and running?

Both CASTLE and BECKETT are awed at his quick change of heart.

WINTERS
Soon? –ish?

BECKETT is quickly losing her excitement over meeting him.

BECKETT
We’ll let you know. In the meantime, did you know any of Annabelle’s family members?

WINTERS
Nah. But her friends Audrey and Davis run the Nebula-9 booth down on the floor. (he steps closer to pat them both on the shoulder) Dismissed.

INT – SUPERNOVA CON

AUDREY
It’s just so awful. She’s been my best friend since high school. She introduced me to Davis. She’s the reason we’re together.

DAVIS has his arm around her. They’re both sad.

DAVIS
We bonded over Nebula-9. We all loved the show, so when Annabelle started the fan club we helped out and it just kinda took off from there.

CASTLE
Did you notice any unusual behavior lately?

AUDREY
I saw her yesterday morning and she seemed really upset.

BECKETT
About what?

AUDREY
I don’t know. All she said was that someone she had trusted had betrayed her.

CASTLE
Any idea who? What she involved with anyone?

AUDREY
Not that I know of.

BECKETT
Did Annabelle have any enemies?

DAVIS
There were those fans, the ones who sent all the threats.

BECKETT
What threats?

AUDREY
After the fan club took off, Annabelle bought the rights to the show for practically nothing and started making new Nebula-9 webisodes starring the three of us. You know, picking up where the show left off, like as a tribute.

BECKETT smiles.

DAVIS
Not everyone saw it that way. Annabelle got some pretty ugly emails.

CASTLE
How ugly?

AUDREY
Some were death threats.

INT – SUPERNOVA CON

CASTLE
Wow, Davis wasn’t kidding about these emails. Listen to this. “Your so called webisodes desecrate the memory of Nebula-9 and you should pay the ultimate price.”

BECKETT
I don’t know, Castle. Do you honestly believe that Annabelle was killed by an angry Nebula-9 fan?

CASTLE
I think if you like Nebula-9 you’re crazy enough to kill, yeah.

She stops him.

BECKETT
Whoa. Why are you so down on the show?

CASTLE
Ah, okay. Well, let’s see. Because it’s cheesy, it ignores the laws of physics and good storytelling, not to mention –

He phone rings and she cuts him off.

BECKETT
Okay, I got it. (she looks at her phone) It’s Perlmutter. He’s got something for us.

They turn to head to the morgue but a voice stops them.

HENRY BARNETT
Kate Beckett! K-Becks! I knew it was you!

BECKETT lets out a startled laugh, but CASTLE is shocked at her nickname. HENRY wraps her up in a hug.

BECKETT
Oh, Henry Barnett, wow. It’s been … years.

HENRY
Since our first semester at Stanford.

CASTLE
K-Becks?

BECKETT
Um…

She looks at CASTLE, who just gives her a sly smile. She glares at him, but she’ll deal with that later. She turns back to HENRY.

BECKETT
I – I – do you think we could catch up later? I’m actually here for work.

HENRY
Oh, well that explains why you’re aren’t wearing your Nebula-9 outfit.

CASTLE moves closer to HENRY in shock.

CASTLE
You, uh – you have a Nebula-9 outfit?

She knows this isn’t going to end well.

HENRY
Oh, she had a few. She was a mega-fan. You should have seen her as Lieutenant Chloe. (CASTLE gives her a satisfied smile) Oh wait, you can. Remember that photo we all took? I brought it to get it signed.

HENRY rummages through a folder for the picture and CASTLE is thrilled. HENRY pulls it out and shows it to her. CASTLE taps him on the shoulder.

CASTLE
May I?

BECKETT gasps at the photographic evidence of her fangirl past.

HENRY
It’s us from back in the day.

CASTLE
Oh!

He’s eating up her embarrassment.

HENRY
Isn’t is frackin’ awesome?

BECKETT
(not amused) It’s frackin’ something. Henry, I need that photo.

HENRY
What? Why?

BECKETT
(pulls her badge) It’s official NYPD business. Don’t make me ask again.

He nods once, shortly, but then hands over the photo. BECKETT takes the photo and turns away. HENRY turns a confused look to CASTLE.

CASTLE
(whispered) Thank you.

CASTLE leaves to follow BECKETT.

INT – MORGUE

BECKETT
So I was a Nebula-9 fan. Big deal.

CASTLE
Oh, you were beyond a fan. You dressed up in costume. You.

She swivels to talk to him.

BECKETT
Okay, yes. I was a sci-fi loving, costume wearing geek. And you know what? Not ashamed of it or of Nebula-9. Despite what you think, it was an awesome show.

CASTLE
Hmm. I’ll tell you what. I’ll forgive you your terrible taste if you … (he checks her out) … try on that Nebula-9 costume for me.

BECKETT
In your dreams.

CASTLE
Look at my life. My dreams come true.

She rolls her eyes in exasperation as she turns away to find PERLMUTTER. CASTLE checks her out as she goes.

INT – MORGUE

BECKETT
Perlmutter.

PERLMUTTER
Detective Beckett.

CASTLE
Perlmutter.

PERLMUTTER
And non-detective Castle.

CASTLE gives him a look at the random hatred.

BECKETT
So do you have a cause of death?

PERLMUTTER
It was a burn. A burn that penetrated tissue, muscle, and bone, leaving this perfectly cylindrical hole.

BECKETT
What kind of burn does that?

PERLMUTTER
Well, one created by high levels of infrared radiation. (this catches CASTLE’S attention) The blood vessels were cauterized by the intense heat.

BECKETT
Are you saying –

CASTLE
She was killed by a phaser?

PERLMUTTER
(hesitates) Well, as much as it pains me, Mr. Castle is largely correct. (CASTLE celebrates) She was killed by a high intensity laserbeam.

BECKETT looks at CASTLE in shock.

CASTLE
A real sci-fi murder at a sci-fi convention. This keeps getting better.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
How is it possible that she’s killed by a laser?

CASTLE
Easy. Someone shot her with a laser gun.

BECKETT
Real ones don’t exist, Castle.

CASTLE
Actually, they do. There is an advanced tactical laser that can melt a hole in a tank from 5 miles away.

BECKETT
Read about it. It’s as big as a truck.

CASTLE
Yes well, obviously someone has constructed a portable handheld version.

BECKETT
Like who?

CASTLE
Well, let’s go back to the emails of the crazed Nebula-9 fans. And when I say crazed fans, I’m not referring to you. (he pats her arm) You were a mega-fan.

BECKETT
Nice one coming from the guy with a life sized Boba Fett in his bathroom.

CASTLE
Point taken. Anyway, perhaps one of these fans, enraged by Annabelle’s blasphemous webisodes, somehow fashioned a functioning Thorian blaster and in an act of divine retribution, said killer shot Annabelle with the very weapon featured on Nebula-9.

BECKETT
Interesting theory, but we have interviewed all of those crazed fans and they all have alibis.

CASTLE
Okay. Well then, maybe it wasn’t a crazed fan. But the fact is, someone did zap Annabelle with some kind of laser blaster.

His enunciation tries to mimic William Shatner's. She’s amused but she’s trying not to show it.

BECKETT
I will talk to ATF and see if they’ve heard of anyone possessing a …

CASTLE
Laser blaster.

BECKETT
… a functional laser weapon. In the meantime hopefully Ryan and Esposito have found some witnesses by posting on the fansite.

She picks up her phone to make calls.

EST – CONVENTION CENTER, DAYTIME

INT – NEBULA-9 FAN EXPERIENCE

RYAN holds out his phone with a picture of ANNABELLE.

RYAN
Her name is Annabelle Collins. Did you see her in this area between 10 and 11 last night?

Someone dressed as a white Wookie-looking character responds in a series of grunts.

RYAN
Um, let me repeat the question.

INT – SUPERNOVA CON

ESPOSITO is on the convention floor. He’s interviewing a woman wearing a bunch of leaves as a bikini.

ESPOSITO
First of all ma’am, I must ask you, how are you keeping those leaves on there like that?

He gestures to her chest and she smiles.

WOMAN
Why don’t you pull on one and find out?

INT – NEBULA-9 FAN EXPERIENCE

RYAN
Did you see her or not?

A man dressed as a green bug steps forward.

MAN
He only speaks Mercitonian.

RYAN looks from the white-Wookie to the guy dressed as a bug.

RYAN
Maybe you can translate for me?

MAN
I’m not really that fluent.

RYAN sighs.

RYAN
Next.

INT – SUPERNOVA CON

ESPOSITO holds out his phone with a photo of ANNABELLE.

ESPOSITO
Did you see her hear between 10 and 11 last night?

WOMAN
Nope.

ESPOSITO
Okay.

He slips his phone back into his pocket and the WOMAN pulls off a leaf from her costume. ESPOSITO’S gaze is glued to her chest.

WOMAN
But if there’s anything else I can do for you, here’s my number. Call me.

She leaves.

ESPOSITO
(flustered) You took my … pen.

INT - NEBULA-9 FAN EXPERIENCE

A rather normal looking girl walks up.

RYAN
Let me begin by asking if you speak English or not.

GIRL
Obvi.

RYAN considers. Close enough.

RYAN
Okay. Did you see this woman between 10 and 11 last night?

He holds out his phone with the picture.

GIRL
Yeah.

RYAN
You did?

GIRL
Yeah. My friends and I were totes pissed at her because she told us that the Fan Experience was closed. And then two seconds later she brought someone inside here.

RYAN
Could you describe who she was with?

GIRL
I could do lots better. I can tell you her name.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT adds a photo to the murder board.

CASTLE
Stephanie Frye. The actress who played your personal hero Lieutenant Chloe in the original Nebula-9 series?

BECKETT gives him a silent glare.

BECKETT
A witness says Annabelle and Stephanie walked onto the spaceship set around 9:45.

CASTLE
Well, did she see either one of them after that?

BECKETT
No.

CASTLE
Stephanie’s a big movie star now. She’s not even involved with Nebula-9. What possible motive could she have?

BECKETT
All I know is that she was one of the last people to see Annabelle alive, so I have to talk to her.

INT – SUPERNOVA CON

Two girls are playing with space alien looking things.

GIRL 1
I dare you to touch it.

GIRL 2 does.

GIRL 2
Eww!

STEPHANIE FRYE
I was sad to hear about Annabelle. I met her a few times at conventions like this. She seemed lovely.

BECKETT
We have a witness that saw you and Annabelle go into the ship just before she died.

STEPHANIE
You don’t think –

BECKETT
We’re just trying to figure out what happened.

STEPHANIE
Nothing happened. We talked. It was a quick conversation. I had to be on the red carpet at 10.

CASTLE
What did you talk about?

STEPHANIE
Ugh. She asked if I’d be part of this weekend’s Nebula-9 Fan Experience.

BECKETT
Yeah, but you distanced yourself from the show. (off CASTLE’S knowing look) Didn’t you? I … heard that you did.

STEPHANIE
Don’t get me wrong. Playing Lieutenant Chloe was my big break, but … (she laughs) Nebula-9? (BECKETT bristles) Not exactly a career launcher.

CASTLE laughs with her.

CASTLE
I know.

STEPHANIE
Now that I’m finally being taken seriously as an actress I couldn’t go back. It would harm my image.

BECKETT looks like she’s going to be sick. She takes in STEPHANIE’S new gig as a supermodel spy and tries to suppress her eye roll.

STEPHANIE
So I told Annabelle no. She understood.

CASTLE
Well, I’m not sure I do. Why would she even ask if she knew you’d refuse?

STEPHANIE
She was desperate. She said she’d have to shut it down if she didn’t have an original cast member.

BECKETT
Yeah, but what about Captain Max? (she tries to cover) Gabriel Winters. She had him, didn’t she?

CASTLE studies her.

STEPHANIE
Gabriel is a complicated guy. I mean, she didn’t go into detail, but she was having problems with him.

INT – SUPERNOVA CON

CASTLE and BECKETT have RYAN on the phone.

RYAN
(on the phone) She was having problems with him, all right. Word is Gabriel was showing up late to the Fan Experience and drunk.

BECKETT
Captain Max was drunk?

RYAN
Well, among other transgressions. He was actually a no-show to the Nebula-9 yesterday and Annabelle had to rouse him from his hotel room where he was passed out naked with two Lieutenant Chloes.

CASTLE
Ha. I’d say fortune was definitely guiding his journey.

BECKETT
Just because he exhibited some bad behavior doesn’t mean that was motive for murder.

ESPOSITO
Well, except that I just spoke with Gabriel’s agent. Annabelle called her yesterday threatening to fire him.

BECKETT
And so he killed her?

ESPOSITO
Well here’s the thing. The guy’s a washed up actor. He’s barely worked since the show was canceled and he does what, 20 Fan Experiences a day at $500 bucks a shot. If Annabelle took that away from him, he’d have nothing.

BECKETT
Okay guys, thanks.

She hangs up. Bad news all around.

CASTLE
Annabelle said she was betrayed by someone she trusted. Maybe that was Captain Max.

A bunch of girls in revealing costumes walk by. ALEXIS CASTLE leads the group. They don’t catch CASTLE’S attention until he recognizes ALEXIS.

CASTLE
Oh my God! Alexis?

They stop.

ALEXIS CASTLE
Dad? What are you doing here?

He takes in her outfit. There’s not much more than a bikini and a lot of eye makeup.

CASTLE
What are you doing here … dressed like that?

ALEXIS
We’re Havakura. It’s a tribe of female assassins who –

CASTLE
Don’t wear clothes?

ALEXIS
You’re overreacting. And you’re embarrassing me.

CASTLE
Oh, I’m embarrassing you? I’m the one who’s dressed –

He moves to cover her with his jacket but she pulls back. BECKETT snags his arm.

ALEXIS
Dad!

BECKETT
Castle. C’mon, let’s go.

ALEXIS and her friends take the opportunity to leave.

CASTLE
Are you kidding me? Did you see what she’s wearing?

BECKETT
Yeah, it’s not that bad.

CASTLE
Not that bad? How am I gonna unsee that?

INT – NEBULA-9 FAN EXPERIENCE

WINTERS
Chances for crew survival if we engage?

ORACLE
All weapon systems are disabled. The alien vessel has superior firepower. Chances of survival, .1 percent.

He takes a moment.

WINTERS
That’s a rosy prediction.

The doors open and CASTLE and BECKETT walk in.

WINTERS
We will live to fight – (he sees them) Ah, we have visitors. Wearing 21st century garb. You come in peace, or is this more Creaver trickery?

BECKETT’S had enough. She holds up her badge.

BECKETT
NYPD, sorry folks, we’re going to have to cut this short. (the lights come up) Everyone out.

Everyone stands and starts to leave.

WINTERS
This is outrageous. I included you in the Nebula-9 Fan Experience and you ruined it.

BECKETT
Mr. Winters, where were you last night between 10 and 11? And don’t say your hotel room.

WINTERS
You can’t be insinuating I had something to do with Annabelle’s death? I told you everything I know.

CASTLE spots the laser gun strapped to his hip.

CASTLE
Then you wouldn’t mind relinquishing your weapon.

WINTERS
This Thorian blaster was given to me by the Vice Chancellor of Lloron when I helped save the Queen –

CASTLE
Oh, for the love of Pete. (he grabs the gun and fires it at the wall. It works and shatters a glass panel, surprising everyone) Zap, said the lady. (to WINTERS) You are so busted.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT OBSERVATION ROOM

They’re watching WINTERS through the glass when ESPOSITO walks in.

ESPOSITO
Hey. So our ballistics guys got together with – (he stops when he sees WINTERS making faces at the glass) – Perlmutter and tested the blaster. It’s definitely our murder weapon.

BECKETT’S disappointed but she’s got a job to do. And WINTERS is all sorts of awful.

BECKETT
I want to build an ironclad case against this guy. Have tech look at the gun, find out where it came from.

ESPOSITO
As you wish.

He ducks his head and backs out of the room.

CASTLE
You know, I can see how Annabelle felt betrayed. Some guys have no business commanding a spaceship.

BECKETT
Just goes to show you sometimes people aren’t what they appear to be.

CASTLE
For Alexis’ sake I hope you’re right, given what she was wearing.

BECKETT
Castle, she is a full grown woman.

CASTLE
Who as we speak is being ogled by thousands of sweaty, lecherous fanboys. It’s just so … wrong.

BECKETT
Can I just point out the fact that the costume that she was wearing is not so different from the one that you are asking me to wear?

She leaves the room.

CASTLE
Don’t say that! That – so confusing and disturbing.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

WINTERS
Look, I have no idea where that blaster came from.

BECKETT
That’s funny, since it was on your hip.

WINTERS
I grabbed it off the props table when I suit up, just like I always do. I didn’t know it was real. (off CASTLE and BECKETT’S look) Wait, you guys think I killed her and then kept the murder weapon on me? What kind of idiot does that?

CASTLE gives him a pointed look.

BECKETT
Why didn’t you tell us that you were having problems with Annabelle?

WINTERS
(condescendingly) I played a lawyer in a well-regarded film that didn’t come out. I know about the legal system. That would have just made me look guilty.

The guy isn’t too bright.

CASTLE
As opposed to how you look now?

BECKETT
Look, here’s what I think. Annabelle got tired of your drunken carousing and threatened to fire you from the only job that you had, so you killed her.

WINTERS
None of that is true. (he thinks) Except maybe the carousing part.

BECKETT
So she didn’t threaten to fire you?

WINTERS
Yes, sure, all the time. But she’d never go through with it. I’m the face of Nebula-9. I’m the reason all those lunatics line up for days outside the convention.

BECKETT has to hide her disgust.

CASTLE
Yes, well, perhaps now they’ll line up outside Sing-Sing.

BECKETT glares at him.

WINTERS
Annabelle and I clashed on certain … lifestyle choices. But we had an understanding. (off BECKETT’S look) I even got her and her boyfriend into the opening night party on Wednesday.

BECKETT
Nice try, she didn’t have a boyfriend.

WINTERS
Told me she did.

BECKETT
Look, the fact is you had means, motive, and opportunity. And we checked with your hotel. You left at 9:45PM and returned at 11. That’s the exact time window of Annabelle’s murder.

WINTERS
(sighs) I was busy handling a personal issue that I would, uh, rather not discuss.

BECKETT
You are facing a murder charge.

CASTLE
Okay, look. We already know about the threesome with the Lieutenant Chloes. (WINTERS smiles) How bad can it be?

WINTERS
Well let’s just say my, um … weakness for fleeting romance left me with a burning desire to see my doctor last night.

BECKETT tries to hold back her gag.

CASTLE
And it just got worse.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN
So, the doctor confirms his alibi. He was dosing Gabriel with antibiotics during our time of death window.

BECKETT
(sighs) Gabriel said that Annabelle went to the party with her boyfriend. But there’s no evidence that she was in a relationship. There’s nothing in her emails, phone calls, or texts.

RYAN
And the very next day she said someone had betrayed her trust. Maybe she meant the secret boyfriend.

BECKETT
Whoever he is he never came forward and that is suspicious.

ESPOSITO
Yo. Our tech guys caught a break. They took apart the gun and they traced the serial number on one of the components. Manufacturer shipped it to an address in the Bronx.

She takes the paper he holds out.

BECKETT
All right, Castle and I’ll go check this out. You guys go to the convention center bar where the party was being held and see if you can ID who Annabelle was with.

RYAN
All right.

ESPOSITO
Yeah.

EST – CONVENTION CENTER, DAYTIME

INT – SUPERNOVA CON

The convention center bar is full of people in various sci-fi inspired costumes.

RYAN
This is like the Halloween from hell.

ESPOSITO
Oh yeah, this is probably too lowbrow for you, huh? You’re probably into that boring-ass, intellectual kind of sci-fi like Gattaca or 2001. The Monolith? What the hell was that?

RYAN
Don’t ask me. I don’t know. Swords and sorcery, that’s more my thing. Like uh … Lord of the Rings.

ESPOSITO appraises him.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, I could probably see you as an elf. Or a hobbit.

He walks away and it takes RYAN a second to process what he’s said.

INT – SUPERNOVA CON

BARTENDER
Yeah, served her and her date in a private room. Looked pretty cozy but later she was alone at the bar crying her eyes out.

ESPOSITO
This date of hers, can you describe him?

BARTENDER
Sure can. Looked like that.

The BARTENDER gestures behind ESPOSITO. They turn to see someone dressed in a costume, complete with a mask.

ESPOSITO
(excited) A Creaver?

RYAN
A who?

ESPOSITO
The evil alien race from Nebula-9. Nasty creatures. They’ll eat your face off when you’re still alive and then serve your organs to their young.

RYAN
(dryly) Good to know. (to the BARTENDER) Is that all?

BARTENDER
Had one of these purple VIP badges. Pretty exclusive. Can’t be more than a few hundred of them.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

CASTLE
“Danger, do not enter.” That is just the sort of sign you’d expect to see on the lair of an evil laser gun making genius.

CASTLE knocks on the metal door but nothing happens. He bends down to get a look under it.

CASTLE
It’s pitch black inside but the door is partially open. I would say that’s an invitation, wouldn’t you?

BECKETT grabs her gun.

BECKETT
Just in case it isn’t.

They duck under the open door and into the building.

BECKETT
NYPD, anyone here?

The door slams shut behind them.

CASTLE
Perhaps we should have heeded that very wise sign.

BECKETT tries to reopen the door but it won’t budge. A siren goes off and lasers turn on. They all focus into two single points aimed at CASTLE and BECKETT’S heads.

COMPUTER
Raise your hands! Prepare to die.

They stand frozen and confused.

INT – BENJAMIN DONNELLY’S WORKSHOP

BECKETT takes a breath and grabs her badge.

BECKETT
NYPD, put down your weapons!

The lasers power down and the siren stops. The lights turn on and CASTLE squints in the sudden light.

BENJAMIN DONNELLY
Did you see that? It worked perfectly. It’s modeled on the targeting system of a Machbarien Star Destroyer.

CASTLE
So I take it we’re not going to die.

DONNELLY
From remote controlled laser pointers? No. But it’s perfect to scare away intruders. You should have seen the UPS guy. He almost wet himself.

BECKETT
Excuse me, Mr. –

DONNELLY
Donnelly. Benjamin Donnelly. Purveyor of sci-fi hardware for the discriminating enthusiast. So, what can I interest you in? A Klingon bat’leth, perhaps? A Cylon laser pistol? A double bladed lightsaber?

CASTLE picks up and plays with a laser gun. His attention is caught at that, though.

CASTLE
You have a double bladed lightsaber?

BECKETT isn’t amused by the plethora of sci-fi weapons.

BECKETT
Actually, we’re looking for a Thorian blaster.

DONNELLY
Oh. (he chuckles) The woman has taste. (he turns to open a case) Plasma pistol with a triskellion core. Accurate down to the last detail.

CASTLE
Including its ability to kill?

DONNELLY
Excuse me?

BECKETT
We’re investigating a murder. And we traced the weapon back to you.

DONNELLY
I created this for entertainment use only. I never intended for it to hurt anybody. (BECKETT reaches to touch it and he pulls it away) Thorian blasters don’t kill. People do.

CASTLE stops at the cliché.

DONNELLY
I can’t be responsible once they leave my shop.

CASTLE
Yes, well, that is an amazing piece of weaponry. (off BECKETT’S look) That I never want to fire again.

DONNELLY
Wait, you fired it?

CASTLE
Oh yeah.

DONNELLY
Were you wearing proper protection?

CASTLE
What? (he looks down) No – why? (he covers himself) Why – what kind of protection?

DONNELLY appraises him.

DONNELLY
You’ll be fine.

DONNELLY moves back to BECKETT but now CASTLE is freaking out.

BECKETT
How many of those have you sold?

DONNELLY
I only made two that were fully functional. One in the case here, the other I sold to a collector Wednesday night.

BECKETT
Do you have a name?

DONNELLY
Sam? Seth? Simon? Something s-ey.

BECKETT
You think you could describe him?

DONNELLY
No, he was in costume.

BECKETT
Let me guess. Creaver?

DONNELLY
(nods) Yeah. He drove away in a white SUV if that helps. I didn’t get the numbers but they were North Carolina plates. “First in flight.”

CASTLE
What kind of protection?

DONNELLY and BECKETT turn to look at him.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
So Ryan and Esposito are running down everyone that was issued a purple pass to see if they can ID our Creaver. They should have something by tomorrow morning. I mean, it’s just like you said, Castle. That costume allowed our killer to strike unseen. (she pauses) And of course he’s going to be a Creaver. I mean, they’re the sworn enemies of the Nebula-9 crew.

She’s not paying attention to CASTLE. He’s playing with his fingers and feeling his face. When she does notice him, she stops packing her bag.

BECKETT
Castle?

She raises her eyebrows in question.

CASTLE
Do I look different to you?

BECKETT
No. Why?

CASTLE
Just – I feel so tingly. (he looks at his fingers) Something’s wrong. I’m beginning to mutate like the Hulk or The Thing. Or worse, the Leader. What’ll happen to my hair?

BECKETT
I prefer Doctor Manhattan. (off CASTLE’S surprised look) The blue skin. Brings out your blue eyes.

She smiles and starts to walk away. He scrambles to follow her.

CASTLE
This isn’t funny. What if firing that blaster made me infertile?

BECKETT
You want more kids?

CASTLE
Well, I’d like the option.

BECKETT
Well, I think you’re going to be fine, Castle.

CASTLE
All the same, I should decontaminate. Take a Silkwood shower.

They take the elevator down.

EST – CASTLE’S LOFT, NIGHTTIME

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

ALEXIS is waiting in the living room when he gets home.

CASTLE
Alexis, what are you doing here?

ALEXIS
I thought maybe after what happened that you’d want to talk about it.

There’s an awkward pause.

CASTLE
No. Me – no. You?

ALEXIS
No.

She’s happy not to talk about it, but it doesn’t fix anything. There’s another awkward moment and they move opposite each other, CASTLE to his office and ALEXIS to the door to leave.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, MORNING

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

It’s early, but BECKETT is already at her desk. She’s looking at the photo of her dressed in Nebula-9 gear that she took from HENRY and smiling.

ESPOSITO
Yo.

BECKETT startles and hides the photo in her desk drawer.

ESPOSITO
Hey, so we found out that valet parking comes with those purple passes. And there was only one attendee that had a white SUV with North Carolina plates. Simon Westport. He was on 295 heading south when state troopers pulled him over. He had a Creaver outfit in his trunk.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

BECKETT holds up an evidence bag with a laser blaster in it.

BECKETT
Do you recognize this, Simon?

SIMON WESTPORT
It’s a Thorian blaster.

BECKETT
You know what else it is? It’s the gun that killed Annabelle Collins.

ESPOSITO
Bought by a guy dressed as a Creaver who was seen with the victim before she died.

SIMON
This is not what it looks like. I bought that for her as a gift.

BECKETT
You bought her a live fire collectable laser gun as a gift?

SIMON
I did not kill her! I didn’t even know she was dead until the police told me.

BECKETT
What was your relationship to the victim?

SIMON
(hesitates) I met Annabelle at Supernova Con like 5 years ago. We just clicked. (BECKETT gives him a look and he sighs) Look, at the Con you can be anyone you want to be for a few days so we’d hook up. It was a ‘same time next year’ kinda thing.

ESPOSITO
So how does that square with you leaving her at the bar crying?

SIMON
Okay, something did happen at the party that night, but not with me. I gave her the blaster. She was thrilled. I left to take a phone call. I come back and there’s a guy hassling her.

BECKETT
About what?

SIMON
I don’t know, but he tried to kiss her. She slapped him in the face. By the time I got to her he had already taken off. But she’s all upset about it, she tells me she needs space. So she takes the blaster and leaves. So I track her down the next day to see if she’s okay and out of nowhere she says that she’s done with Supernova Con and she’s done with me. So I checked out of my hotel and I left.

BECKETT
Can you describe this guy?

SIMON
Yeah. It’s the guy she did those webisodes with. Davis.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO
So it sounds like whatever happened between Davis and Annabelle really did a number on her. All of a sudden she was ready to ditch Simon and the convention.

BECKETT
We talked to Davis. He never mentioned any incident.

ESPOSITO
Which means he’s hiding something.

BECKETT
Either that or he killed her.

The elevator dings and CASTLE gets off.

CASTLE
Hey, tell me you guys, do you think my hair is thinning?

He bends over to show them the top of his head.

BECKETT
You’re not losing your hair, Castle.

CASTLE
Okay, so if I wake up bald tomorrow you’ll still be attracted to me? (she hesitates) Oh my God, you wouldn’t!

BECKETT
I didn’t say that.

She walks past him to get on the elevator.

CASTLE
No, but you were thinking it. I can see it in you –

He startles when he turns to find ESPOSITO right up in his personal space.

ESPOSITO
With that pumpkin head? Dude.

ESPOSITO slips onto the elevator just as the doors start to close. CASTLE is left behind, in shock.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

BECKETT
Davis, what was your relationship with Annabelle Collins?

DAVIS
I told you before. We were friends.

CASTLE
Was friendship enough or did you want more?

DAVIS is silent.

BECKETT
Witnesses saw you with Annabelle at the opening night party. It sounds like she didn’t respond too well to your advances.

CASTLE
Why would she? I mean, you were already in a relationship with her best friend.

BECKETT
Why would you risk it all by making a pass at her?

CASTLE
Well, one reason. (BECKETT looks at him) Love. (to DAVIS) But you were with Audrey.

DAVIS
I was. (he starts again) I am. But it was always Annabelle.

BECKETT
Why don’t you tell us what happened?

DAVIS
That night I had had a few drinks and I saw her with that … Creaver at the party and they were all over each other. And it killed me. I couldn’t take it anymore, I had to tell her how I felt, and she (he sighs) – she said terrible things. She said that I ruined everything, that she was going to have to tell Audrey and … I didn’t know what else to do.

BECKETT
Davis, did you kill Annabelle?

DAVIS
No. No, I was halfway across the building when it happened at the masquerade ball. You can check. But I tried to make things right with her. I told her I was drunk and we should just forget about it, but she couldn’t. (he shakes his head) She said it was one thing to live a fantasy but she wasn’t going to live a lie. And that this was going to be our last Con.

BECKETT
She was going to end the Fan Experience?

DAVIS
Not just the Fan Experience. Everything. She said it was time to move on. She decided to cash out and sell the rights to Nebula-9. I mean, they were worthless when she first got them, but she – she made the show popular again. They were talking about rebooting the series, maybe even doing a movie.

CASTLE
That would mean some real money.

BECKETT
Davis, who gets the rights now that Annabelle’s dead?

He thinks.

DAVIS
They go to Audrey.

CASTLE and BECKETT lean back. It’s another lead.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT hangs up her phone.

BECKETT
So Davis’ alibi checks out. Sort of.

CASTLE
Sort of?

BECKETT
Yeah, organizers confirm that he arrived at the party at 9:30 but everyone was masked, so he could have slipped out at any time.

RYAN
Hey, so Annabelle was serious about cashing out. She had an offer on the table from Epic Scope Productions.

ESPOSITO
She’d been refusing to sell for months but the day she died she put in a call saying she was ready to make that deal.

BECKETT
For how much?

RYAN
Two and a half million dollars.

BECKETT
That’s motive.

CASTLE
That’s madness. $2.5 mil for that god awful show?

BECKETT gives him a look.

RYAN
But now that she’s dead, they’re going to have to pay Audrey.

ESPOSITO
And she didn’t even wait for the body to get cold. The morning after Annabelle was killed Audrey put in a call to Epic Scope.

RYAN hands BECKETT a paper.

RYAN
They closed the deal today.

INT – SUPERNOVA CON

AUDREY
Yeah, I sold the rights. So what? All this? This is all Annabelle. What’s the point of doing it without her?

CASTLE
Except you weren’t going to be doing it with her much longer, were you?

AUDREY
I don’t know what you mean.

BECKETT
You worked for years helping Annabelle bring Nebula-9 back to life.

CASTLE
If she sold the rights, all this would go away leaving you with nothing. And you couldn’t let her do that, could you?

AUDREY bristles at the accusation.

AUDREY
That is a disgusting thing to say. She was my best friend.

BECKETT
Where were you the night she was killed?

AUDREY doesn’t respond.

AUDREY
I’m not going to answer any more of your questions.

INT – NEBULA-9 FAN EXPERIENCE

CASTLE sits in the captain’s chair.

CASTLE
Let’s make sure that history never forgets the name Enterprise.

BECKETT is on the phone, but she smiles at his Jean-Luc Picard imitation.

BECKETT
(on the phone) Yeah, okay. Thanks Ryan. (she hangs up) So Audrey’s hotel keycard was used at 9:48PM and then it wasn’t used again the rest of the night.

CASTLE
Well she could have slipped out and left her door ajar. That would have given her enough time to get down here.

BECKETT
Yeah, but Castle all I we have is circumstantial evidence and soft alibis. We’ve got to get something more concrete. (she pauses) I can’t tell you how many times I have had dreams about being in this very ship.

That catches his attention.

CASTLE
Sexy dreams? (he walks toward her and puts on his impression) You know, it’s never too late to live out your fantasy.

He crowds her and she smiles.

BECKETT
You do realize that this is still a crime scene?

CASTLE
Oh, right. Ew.

BECKETT
Yeah.

She nods, but she’s still smiling. She walks toward the chair in the middle of the room and pauses for a second before turning back to him.

BECKETT
You’re right, okay? It was a stupid show. It was cheesy and melodramatic. (she sits) I mean, a handful of academy mission and suddenly the Earth is destroyed and they’re all that’s left of humanity? I completely understand why you hated it. But Castle, I also understand why people loved it. Why Annabelle loved it. (she pauses) It was about leaving home for the first time. About searching for your identity and making a difference. I loved dressing up like Lieutenant Chloe. She didn’t care what anybody thought about her. And I kinda did, at that time. I mean, she was a scientist and a warrior and that was all in spite of the way she looked. It was like I could be anything and I didn’t have to choose. (she keeps his eyes) So don’t make fun, okay?

He’s quick to respond and he loves that she loves it.

CASTLE
Okay.

BECKETT
And besides, it didn’t hurt that my legs looked great in her outfit.

CASTLE
Oh, of that I have no doubt – ow!

He’s stuck his hand on one of the ships panels and it’s shocked him.

BECKETT
What’s wrong?

CASTLE
My hand!

He sticks his hand back toward the panel and it starts to glow. BECKETT looks from it to the ceiling and CASTLE keeps taking his hand into and out of the light.

CASTLE
What – whoa – I mean, what does that mean?

BECKETT
That means you just solved our case.

CASTLE pulls his hand back. He’s more concerned about his own health.

INT – NEBULA-9 FAN EXPERIENCE

BECKETT
Thank you everyone for coming in today.

She and CASTLE join the group of people they’ve called to the set.

WINTERS
I was under the impression I didn’t have a choice.

He makes a move to leave.

CASTLE
You didn’t.

WINTERS sits back down.

SIMON
I don’t understand. What are we doing here?

CASTLE
Everyone in this room had a relationship with the victim. Each of you had either motive or opportunity to kill her. Uh, Miss Frye, would you do me the honor of a little improvisation?

She laughs and smiles in acquiesce.

WINTERS
Trust me, that woman needs a script.

She glares at WINTERS before turning to CASTLE.

STEPHANIE
I’m happy to help.

CASTLE
Miss Frye will be Annabelle Collins, I will be the killer. Annabelle had the weapon on her the night she died. (he hands a blaster to STEPHANIE) Don’t worry, this one’s just a toy. Now, the killer confronts Annabelle. Annabelle, presumably to protect herself, drew her blaster. (STEPHANIE points it at CASTLE) They struggled for the gun. (they struggle) The killer overpowers – (STEPHANIE continues to struggle with CASTLE) – I need – I need you to resist just a little less.

STEPHANIE smiles in apology.

WINTERS
Told you.

CASTLE
(she does and CASTLE rips the blaster from her grip) And breaks free the weapon. Annabelle was slain by her own Thorian blaster. (he points the gun at STEPHANIE) Zap.

STEPHANIE melodramatically acts out a death scene as she falls into a chair.

WINTERS
Overacting much?

STEPHANIE
Shut up, Gabriel.

CASTLE
At that point the killer stashed Annabelle’s body in the Oracle pod not knowing that by firing the Thorian blaster they were leaving behind crucial evidence.

BECKETT
The energy emission from the gun left a superficial burn on the killer’s skin which is visible under UV light.

CASTLE holds his hand under the light in example.

CASTLE
Branding our murderer with the mark of Cain. Or for you Nebula-9 fans, the mark of Kaldaresh.

BECKETT suppresses an eye roll.

BECKETT
Simon, could you step forward, please? (he does and he looks at her) Could you hold out your hands?

He does and they’re clean.

BECKETT
Thank you. (SIMON walks back) Davis?

DAVIS steps forward and puts his right hand under the light.

BECKETT
Your left hand as well.

He does. They’re both clean.

BECKETT
Thank you. Audrey.

AUDREY steps forward. And puts her hands under the light. They’re clean, too.

BECKETT
Mr. Winters?

He stands and hesitates, but puts his hand under the light. It’s not clean.

WINTERS
Look, I um – I can explain.

AUDREY
It was you?

WINTERS
No! I have an alibi.

BECKETT
Alibis can be bought.

WINTERS
I didn’t kill Annabelle.

CASTLE
Then why is your hand glowing?

WINTERS
Because. I found out some nerd was making real Thorian blasters I figure if anyone should have on it should be me. (he drops his voice) I’m Captain Max! So I tracked him down and I bought the last one. (he holds up his hand) This is from this morning. I shot it in my hotel room. There’s a hole in the wall. You can check.

The entire time STEPHANIE has been making her way to the door of the set.

BECKETT
Stephanie, where are you going?

STEPHANIE
I was just gonna –

BECKETT
Hold it right there!

BECKETT points and STEPHANIE looks down. She’s stopped in another beam of UV light and her hand is glowing. She moves to make a run for it but RYAN and ESPOSITO are blocking the door. Instead she grabs WINTERS’ gun and holds it to his head. RYAN and ESPOSITO draw their own guns.

STEPHANIE
You heard the man! This one’s deadly. Nobody moves or I put a hole in his head.

WINTERS
(dryly) Am I the only one that finds this situation eerily familiar?

CASTLE gives him a look at his nonchalance.

BECKETT
Stephanie? Why?

STEPHANIE
You know how long I have worked to get away from Lieutenant Chloe? (BECKETT sighs) To get away from the stench of this show? The Fan Experience was bad enough. But she was going to sell the rights and it was going to start all over again. The movies, the product lines, Lieutenant Chloe bobble heads. Do you know how hard I worked to make something of myself? To become a real actress?

WINTERS bursts out laughing.

WINTERS
Oh come on, Steph. You can’t act your way out of a paper bag.

She moves the gun closer to his head.

STEPHANIE
The only solace I have is this time when I kill you there’s not an Endorian empath to bring you back from the dead.

He almost growls.

WINTERS
I don’t think so.

He grabs her and throws her over his shoulder and onto the ground. She tries to reorient herself and he takes the blaster from her.

WINTERS
Been waiting 10 years to do that, *****. Nobody takes over my ship.

CASTLE is impressed by the display of captain-ness. BECKETT is thrilled.

WINTERS
Oh, it’s a lot easier when the stunt guys do it.

RYAN and ESPOSITO rush in to cuff STEPHANIE.

BECKETT
Do you realize how lucky you are? You could have gotten yourself killed.

He shrugs.

WINTERS
Not even. Had it on stun.

He twirls it around and reholsters it before giving her a wink. She turns to STEPHANIE.

BECKETT
Stephanie Frye, you’re under arrest for the murder of Annabelle Collins.

She doesn’t fight it.

CASTLE
Um, um, um, um. (he gets WINTERS’ attention) May I?

WINTERS nods and CASTLE takes his stance and crosses his arms.

CASTLE
And may fortune guide your journey.

STEPHANIE sighs in annoyance before they lead her away.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, DUSK

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE
Doctor says my hand’s going to stop glowing in a few days.

BECKETT
So no mutant powers?

He tries again just to see.

CASTLE
No, not this time. At least my hair’s not falling out.

BECKETT takes down a photo from the murder board. CASTLE notices her hesitation.

CASTLE
What about you? How’re you doing?

BECKETT
I’m fine. Why?

CASTLE
Well, it’s hard to see your idols fall.

BECKETT
Oh Castle, Stephanie Frye was never my idol. Lieutenant Chloe was. And as far as I’m concerned, she’s still out there fighting evil and saving humanity. And no self-centered actor is gonna take that from me. And you know what? If they do make a movie I’m going to be first in line to see it.

She grabs her bag and they head for the elevator.

CASTLE
Ah, such is the power of fantasy. (she giggles) And speaking of fantasies, how about we live out one of yours? What do you say to a little Nebula-9 cosplay? (she hesitates) C’mon, it’ll be fun. (she shakes her head) I’ll serve you breakfast in bed for a week. (she scoffs) And I’ll do your laundry.

BECKETT
Okay, fine. Do you really want to see me in one of my old costumes?

CASTLE
Yes please.

BECKETT
Then you have to promise that you’re going to watch a Nebula-9 marathon with me.

He hesitates and she holds out her hand to shake on it. He looks at it for a beat, but grimaces and tries to take it just as she pulls hers back.

BECKETT
And no making fun.

He gasps, clearly not liking the condition. She holds her hand out again.

CASTLE
You drive a hard bargain, but okay.

They shake on it and she leans in close to whisper into his ear.

BECKETT
I’ll see you at your place.

She’s walking away when the elevator opens. He watches her go for a moment, then scrambles onto the elevator and trying to get the doors to shut faster.

EST – CASTLE’S LOFT, NIGHTTIME

INT – CASTLE’S BEDROOM

CASTLE is waiting on his bed. He’s bored out of his mind.

BECKETT
Okay, promise not to laugh.

CASTLE
I promise. C’mon, quit stalling. Come out already.

BECKETT
Ready?

She giggles and his demeanor brightens. He sits up straighter.

CASTLE
Ready.

She comes from the bathroom, teasing him with bits of skin and curves of her lower body. Then at once she turns and shows her face. She’s wearing a Creaver mask and CASTLE startles and jumps off the bed.

BECKETT
Do you like it?

CASTLE
That’s not what you – that’s not –

He’s backing away.

BECKETT
You want to make out, Castle? Rawr.

CASTLE
No, that’s –

He backs himself into the door of his closet.

BECKETT
C’mon. Just a quick snog, right here on the lips.

She gestures to the grotesque mask and he retreats farther into his closet and pulls the door shut behind him.

BECKETT
Isn’t this what your dreams are made of? Rawr!

She crosses to the closet and knocks on the door, laughing.

BECKETT
Castle? Are we going to make out?

CASTLE
Maybe we … should start with the … Nebula-9 marathon.

THE END

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