6x04 Transcript

Transcribed by:
McManda
CASTLE
EPISODE 6x04
"Number One Fan"


INT – EMMA RIGGS’ APARTMENT

ANGELO VAZQUEZ lies on the ground. He’s covered in blood and not moving; he’s dead. EMMA RIGGS grabs her things and shoves them into her purse. There’s a bang on the door. She doesn’t move to answer it, instead grabbing her purse and running across the room.

NYPD OFFICER
Emma Riggs, open the door!

She doesn’t. She pulls a gun from under the counter and pauses when there’s another knock at the door.

NYPD OFFICER
We hear you moving around in there! Open up!

She heads for the window, climbing out and down the fire escape. The NYPD OFFICER breaks down the door and sweeps the room. He sees EMMA escape out the window, but he’s more concerned with the dead body on the floor.

NYPD OFFICER
33 David to Central requesting immediate backup. Possible homicide suspect, white female, brown hair, fleeing down southwest fire escape.

He checks for a pulse.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET, DAYTIME

EMMA runs across the street.

NYPD OFFICER
(whistles to the passersby) Stop her!

EMMA takes off running. She doesn’t stop when she’s cornered, instead ducking into a building and locking herself in a dental office.

SUE WILLIAMS
Excuse me, what are you doing?

EMMA screams and draws her gun.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

KATE BECKETT taps lightly on RICHARD CASTLE’S chest. They’re in bed and his eyes are closed.

KATE BECKETT
(whispered) Castle. Are you asleep?

RICHARD CASTLE
(mumbled) Yes.

BECKETT
Then why’d you answer me?

CASTLE
I’m sleep talking. Also known as somniloquy. Just ignore me.

BECKETT sighs and drops her head to the pillow.

BECKETT
I don’t know what to do.

That gets his attention. His eyes pop open.

CASTLE
I have some ideas.

BECKETT
No, Castle, I’m talking about my life. I don’t know what to do about my life. I haven’t been out of work since I was 15. I cannot believe that the FBI fired me and I can’t get my job back at the NYPD because of the Commissioner’s stupid hiring freeze. (she rolls over) I might as well just apply to become a mall cop.

CASTLE
Ooh. You would look great on a Segway. (he hovers over her) You know, Beckett, you don’t have to decide right away.

BECKETT
C’mon, Castle, what are you saying? What am I going to do? Just sleep in every morning and screw around until the phone rings? What kind of life is that?

CASTLE
Mine.

BECKETT glances over her shoulder.

BECKETT
Sorry.

CASTLE
I just mean that, you’re with me now. You don’t have to work.

BECKETT
I don’t need to work? (she faces him and there’s an edge to her voice) Does that mean you’re my - sugar daddy?

CASTLE
Oh. Hold on. That didn’t – come out th– actually, I’m still sleep talking. I can’t really be held responsible for whatever I say.

He flops back down and she crowds him, but before she can speak the door opens.

PI
Wow. Even when you’re fighting you two are super cute.

CASTLE sits up. PI is in just a towel.

CASTLE
Pi.

PI
Morning Mr. C, Mrs. C-to-be. (BECKETT gives a small wave from the bed) Hey, do you mind if I borrow a razor? Alexis gets all fired up when I shave with the one she uses for her legs.

CASTLE points halfheartedly.

CASTLE
Under –

PI
- the sink. Yep. Cool.

He snaps and heads into the bathroom.

BECKETT
Why is he still sleeping on your couch?

CASTLE
I don’t know.

MARTHA RODGERS
Good morning darlings!

CASTLE
Doesn’t anyone knock?

MARTHA hands them both a mug of coffee.

MARTHA
Door was open. Don’t be an old maid. Nothing going on here that I haven’t seen and done before.

She laughs.

CASTLE
So how can I help you, Mother?

MARTHA
As you know, my studio is being painted, so I am having my stage combat class in the living room in – ooh, 15 minutes. So please, feel free to join us.

BECKETT takes a sip of her coffee and grimaces, setting it aside.

PI
Triple blade razors. Nice, Mr. C!

BECKETT
You know what? I think I’m going to sleep at my old place tonight.

She rolls over and pulls the blankets over her head.

CASTLE
I think I might join you.

ALEXIS CASTLE
What is this, a house meeting?

CASTLE
No.

BECKETT
No.

ALEXIS
Captain Gates is on the phone.

BECKETT scrambles out from under the covers and holds her hand out.

BECKETT
Oh!

ALEXIS
She’s asking for you – Dad.

BECKETT’S face falls. CASTLE is surprised. He takes the phone.

CASTLE
Hello?

EST – NEW YORK CITY, MORNING

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

CAPTAIN VICTORIA GATES
Thanks for coming, Mr. Castle. You too, Beckett.

BECKETT
Mmhmm.

GATES
Again, I’m sorry your reinstatement didn’t work out.

BECKETT
Yeah. Thanks. So, what do we got?

GATES
Angelo Vazquez, stabbed to death in his girlfriend’s apartment. (she leads them to a makeshift murder board) And this is Mr. Vazquez.

CASTLE
And you are calling on my expertise to unmask the killer.

GATES
No, actually we’ve already ID’d the suspect. She’s the victim’s girlfriend, Emma Riggs.

BECKETT
How do you know it’s her?

GATES
Because she fled from the scene and took hostages in a dental office up the street.

CASTLE
Okay, so this involved me how?

GATES
Hostage negotiators have been trying to talk to Emma, but she’s demanding to speak to only you, Mr. Castle.

He startles.

CASTLE
Me? Why me?

GATES
We were hoping you could tell us. Is she familiar to you?

CASTLE
(he studies the photo) Uh … I’ve never seen her before. What do we know about her?

GATES
Not much, so far. Emma Riggs, 31, waitress, no record. At least until now. (she leans past them) Sergeant? (to CASTLE and BECKETT) This is Sergeant Roman from the Hostage Negotiating Team. Richard Castle, Kate Beckett.

BECKETT shakes his hand and GATES’ phone rings.

GATES
Oh, Deputy Chief. Excuse me.

She steps away to take the call.

SERGEANT ROMAN
Mr. Castle, are you open to talking to Emma over the phone?

CASTLE
Yeah, of course. Anything I can do to help.

BECKETT
So what’s the situation inside?

ROMAN
It’s not ideal , for our purposes. The windows in the office are covered and there’s only one door leading in or out.

BECKETT
Can’t you just drill in fiber optics?

ROMAN
Cement’s too thick. But we have ascertained that she’s taken five hostages. The dentist, Dr. Abe Kogan, his receptionist, Sue Williams, patient Mickey Gerhardt, and Suki Chung, who’s nine years old, and Suki’s mother, Lisa.

CASTLE
There’s a nine year old in there?

That doesn’t sit well with him. ROMAN nods.

CASTLE
What … what if I say the wrong thing?

ROMAN
I’ll be with you the whole time. We’ll make contact, see how everyone’s doing, take Emma’s temperature. See what she wants. And we’ll put a plan together. All you have to do is talk.

CASTLE nods, but he’s still unsure.

BECKETT
Well, if there’s one thing you excel at, Castle, it’s talking.

CASTLE smiles tightly.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

ROMAN sets a microphone in front of CASTLE.

ROMAN
You ready?

CASTLE
No, but let’s do this anyway.

ROMAN taps a button and the phone rings inside the dental office.

EMMA
Hello.

CASTLE
Hello, Emma. This is Richard Castle. I heard you wanted to speak with me.

EMMA
How do I know it’s really you?

CASTLE
Ah, well, if you care to step outside I’d happy to show you my driver’s license.

EMMA
Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

ROMAN tries not to roll his eyes. CASTLE shrugs.

EMMA
Okay, you say you’re Richard Castle, you’re going to have to prove it, all right? In the ‘Nikki Heat’ series, what’s Rook and Nikki’s wine of choice?

CASTLE
Sancerre.

EMMA
In Deadly Heat what’s Douglas Sandman’s nickname?

CASTLE
Bedbug Doug.

EMMA
In Storm Rising what’s Pierre DuBois’s last words?

CASTLE
(snaps) Ah, trick question. Pierre was a Trappist monk. He took a vow of silence. He never spoke. Boom! Believe it’s me now, Emma? Because I could play Richard Castle trivia with you all day. I will crush you.

He smirks.

EMMA
Okay. It’s you.

ROMAN gestures for him to get on with it.

CASTLE
So let me ask you a few questions –

EMMA
No, no, no, no, no. Not on the phone. The cops are listening.

CASTLE
So?

EMMA
So I don’t trust them, okay? Just come inside the dental office and we can talk here.

MICKEY GERHERDT
You’ve got to be kidding.

EMMA
Hey! (she points her gun at him) Shut up!

He holds his hands up.

CASTLE
Ah, look, Emma –

EMMA
We need to speak face to face. Do you hear me? It is the only way.

He thinks.

CASTLE
Okay, but only if you send out Suki and her mother. Deal?

ROMAN and BECKETT look at him in astonishment.

EMMA
Deal. Be outside in 5 minutes.

EMMA hangs up.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

BECKETT sighs.

BECKETT
God, Castle, what the hell were you thinking?

CASTLE
I have no idea. Honestly, I didn’t think that she would take the deal, but look, she’s a fan. I know my fans. She won’t hurt me.

ROMAN
You don’t know that.

CASTLE
I’m not blind to the risks, but I already got her to give up a little girl and her mother. I can reach her, all right? Maybe even get her to surrender. So let me go in.

ROMAN thinks.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

BECKETT helps CASTLE strap on his WRITER vest.

ROMAN
The goal is to get in and get out, you understand? (CASTLE nods) Get her demands, check the status of the hostages, and make mental notes of where everyone is. That’ll help us if we have to breach. You with me so far?

CASTLE nods again. BECKETT runs her hand reverently down the back of his vest.

CASTLE
Demands, status, mental notes. Got it.

ROMAN
And if anything, and I mean anything, seems off, tell Emma that you have to call us. Tell her it’s to make sure that we’re not going to do anything stupid, okay?

CASTLE
Okay.

ROMAN
So we’re going to need a code word that tells us that you need help. What uh - what’s your favorite food?

CASTLE
Oh, um … are we talking everyday food or fine dining? If desserts are included there’s this –

BECKETT
Cheeseburgers. He loves cheeseburgers.

CASTLE
I do enjoy a good cheeseburger.

ROMAN
Okay. Anything goes wrong, call, mention cheeseburgers, and we’ll come running. Good luck in there.

CASTLE
Thank you.

ROMAN leaves. CASTLE turns to face BECKETT. He’s overwhelmed by the responsibility.

CASTLE
(mumbled) Cheeseburgers.

She gives him a look and smooths down his collar.

BECKETT
Listen, I’m kind of looking forward to spending the rest of my life with you, so … don’t do anything stupid in there, okay?

CASTLE
Hey, don’t worry. I think I already hit my stupid quota for the day.

He gives her a smile and leaves. She smiles back, but it’s short-lived as she watches him walk toward the door. He takes a deep breath and looks around at the snipers waiting to take a shot. He pauses right before he enters the building and looks back at her. She gives him an encouraging smile and he goes inside. But as soon as he’s in her smile drops and she worries the engagement ring on her finger.

INT – DENTAL OFFICE

CASTLE walks up to the door. It takes EMMA a second to open the door, and when she does she stares at him a second before opening it wider.

EMMA
Oh my God. It really is you.

CASTLE
So we have a deal?

She pushes the door open and gestures to SUKI and LISA.

EMMA
C’mon. (they scramble to the door) C’mon! (they leave and she pulls CASTLE in) Let’s go. Come in.

He does. She shuts the door behind them. CASTLE looks at the other two hostages.

CASTLE
How’re you guys doing?

MICKEY
How do you think we’re doing?

EMMA raises her gun at him.

EMMA
I told you, shut up!

CASTLE
Okay, Emma, Emma, easy. I’m here now, all right? So let’s talk. You want to tell me your demands?

EMMA
What do you mean, demands?

CASTLE
Uh … money? Transportation out of here?

EMMA
No, no, I don’t want any of that.

CASTLE
Okay, then what do you want?

EMMA
You. I – I just want you.

CASTLE
You want me?

EMMA
My boyfriend is dead. And I know what it looks like, I do. It looks like I killed him. But I didn’t kill him. I didn’t.

MICKEY
Uh huh.

She twirls and points her gun in his direction.

EMMA
Shut up!

CASTLE
Emma! Please, stay calm.

EMMA
I know what you’re capable of, Richard Castle. How you solve murders. You want demands? Okay. I want you to prove my innocence.

He wasn’t expecting that.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

ROMAN
So she wants you to prove her innocence?

CASTLE is on the phone with ROMAN, BECKETT, and GATES.

CASTLE
Right. So I hate to break it to you, but I don’t think this is going to be a traditional hostage negotiation.

BECKETT
Why you?

CASTLE
She’s read all my books. All those articles about you and I working homicides together.

GATES
So she’s your number one fan and this is some sort of hail Mary?

INT – DENTAL OFFICE

CASTLE
Pretty much. So look, I think we should –

EMMA
Don’t tell them anything else!

CASTLE
Why?

EMMA
Because. They’re cops.

ROMAN
Is everything all right, Mr. Castle?

CASTLE
Yeah, I’m fine. (EMMA gestures for him to cut the conversation) I’m just going to talk to her and then I’ll call you back.

ROMAN
Are you sure?

CASTLE
Yes. No cheeseburgers. I repeat, no cheeseburgers. (he hangs up, then off everyone’s odd look) Cutting down on red meat.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

BECKETT
What do we do now?

ROMAN
(sighs) We wait.

BECKETT
But I –

ROMAN
But, what?

She’s got nothing. An OFFICER walks up to ROMAN.

ROMAN
Excuse me.

He walks away and BECKETT stands and starts to pace.

GATES
What are you thinking?

BECKETT
Sir, are you sure that this woman doesn’t have a record?

GATES
Why?

BECKETT
Because she seems to have a deep mistrust of the police.

GATES
Well, obviously there’s more to her than what’s in the system.

BECKETT
Look, I know I’m not on the job anymore, but –

GATES
You want to work the crime scene.

BECKETT
It can’t hurt to have an extra pair of eyes. And the more we find out about Emma, the better chance we’ll have at getting Castle and the hostages –

GATES
Go.

BECKETT doesn’t question. She turns and walks away with a purpose, not looking back.

INT – DENTAL OFFICE

CASTLE pulls a chair up next to EMMA.

CASTLE
All right, Emma. You didn’t kill your boyfriend. Let’s figure out who did. As you know, all my stories start in the same place, the beginning. So tell me what happened.

EMMA
I got home late last night –

CASTLE
Why did you get home late?

EMMA
Well, after work I, um, I bought a dress. Because today’s my birthday, you know. Angelo was, uh, was going to take me out to dinner tonight. He – he worked out some sort of surprise. Said it would be a birthday I’d never forget.

She laughs humorlessly and he watches her play with the trigger on the gun.

CASTLE
Any idea what the surprise was?

EMMA
A marriage proposal? At least, that’s what I was hoping. That’s why I bought the dress, even though I couldn’t afford it. Just … stupid, huh?

CASTLE
No, not at all. So you have your dress, and?

EMMA
When I got home I poured my nightly two fingers of scotch –

CASTLE
A scotch girl. (he nods) Me too. Well, boy. And then what happened?

EMMA
When I woke up in the morning I – (she falters, tries not to cry) – I found Angelo on the floor, dead. There was so much blood, it was – (she wipes away tears) - but I don’t know what happened. I – I – I don’t even know why Angelo was at my apartment in the first place.

CASTLE
And what did you do?

EMMA
I panicked. Tried to get out there, and the cops came, and(she shrugs) Here I am.

MICKEY
(dryly) Yeah, holding us a gunpoint. Talk about psycho girlfriends.

EMMA
What did you say?

EMMA stands and points her gun.

SUE (to MICKEY)
Are you trying to get us killed?

CASTLE
Okay, okay, Emma. Relax. Ignore him. Just focus on me. All right. Did Angelo have a key to your place?

EMMA
Yes.

CASTLE
But you didn’t make any plans for him to come over last night.

EMMA
(shakes her head) No.

CASTLE
How were things going in the relationship? No problems?

EMMA
Uh uh. Good.

CASTLE
How much scotch did you have?

EMMA
One glass. The two fingers.

CASTLE
Okay. Now I’m going to need you to walk me through this again.

EMMA nods.

INT – EMMA RIGGS’ APARTMENT

BECKETT walks in. KEVIN RYAN, JAVIER ESPOSITO, and LANIE PARISH are already there.

LANIE PARISH
Girl, what are you doing here?

BECKETT
Uh … Captain Gates said that I could come.

LANIE
That’s not what I meant. Shouldn’t you be off looking at wedding venues or something?

BECKETT
(waves it off) No, we haven’t even set a date. We’re just trying to enjoy our engagement. Why is everyone trying to rush us?

KEVIN RYAN
Think you’re being rushed now, wait until after the wedding. Not ten minutes from the altar they’ll all be like, (he adopts a falsetto voice) ‘when are you two having a baby?’.

JAVIER ESPOSITO
Bro, your wife’s hormonal because she’s pregnant. What’s your excuse?

RYAN sighs and shakes his head.

BECKETT
So, I take it this is Emma’s boyfriend?

She kneels next to ANGELO’S body.

LANIE
He was, until she stabbed him three times with a knife from the kitchen butcher block. (she holds up a bag)

BECKETT
Emma’s claiming that she’s innocent. Is there any chance that someone else did this?

RYAN
No foreign fibers or prints. All evidence is pointing toward Emma.

BECKETT
Any ideas on motive?

ESPOSITO
Oh yeah. This is Angelo’s cell phone. Check out the text history between him and Emma. (he hands her the phone) She was accusing him of having an affair with some chick up in Scarsdale.

RYAN
And we found this in Angelo’s pocket. (he holds up an evidence bag and reads) “S.H. off of Sawmill River Parkway”.

BECKETT
Sawmill River Parkway is the way to Scarsdale from the city.

RYAN
S.H. could be the initials of the lady he was seeing on the side.

BECKETT flips through the texts on the phone.

BECKETT
And listen to this, Emma texts Angelo last night at 9:47 last night saying she’s drunk, lonely, and wants to see him.

ESPOSITO
And here is an empty bottle of scotch. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a booty call gone wrong.

BECKETT
This doesn’t make any sense. I mean, if she actually killed him then why isn’t she asking for a flight out of the country? Why is she insisting that she is innocent?

RYAN
Uh, maybe because she’s crazy. (he holds up two pill bottles) I found Emma’s prescriptions: clonazepam and aripiprazole. Lanie, aren’t those anti-psychotics?

LANIE
One is. The other’s for mood disorders. Hey, you know if Emma stopped taking her meds she could have had a psychotic break.

BECKETT
(sighs) Which means she wouldn’t remember what she did. (she digs in her pocket for her phone) We have to warn Castle.

ESPOSITO
Beckett, relax. He’s just on the phone with the woman.

BECKETT
No. He went in.

RYAN and ESPOSITO look up at her. That was a stupid idea.

INT – DENTAL OFFICE

CASTLE is on the phone. EMMA has the hostages at the end of her gun.

CASTLE
Uh huh. Okay, let me call you back. (he hangs up)

EMMA
Did Detective Beckett find anything?

CASTLE
Emma, I can’t help you if you’re not honest with me.

EMMA
But I have been honest.

CASTLE
You said everything between you and Angelo was all right.

EMMA
Yeah, it was.

CASTLE
So you didn’t suspect him of cheating?

EMMA pauses.

EMMA
No, it’s just - that he kept going up to Scarsdale without saying why. I’m sure it was nothing.

CASTLE
Are you? Or could it be that you wanted to confront him. And maybe that’s why you texted Angelo last night and invited him over.

EMMA
What are you taking about?

CASTLE
Look at your phone, Emma.

She pulls out her phone and scrolls through her texts.

EMMA
Wait, I don’t – no, I don’t remember writing these texts.

CASTLE
Just because you don’t remember doesn’t mean you didn’t. Just like you only remember having one glass of scotch. But what if you had more? They found your scotch bottle, Emma. It was empty.

EMMA
(she laughs helplessly) I didn’t finish the bottle.

CASTLE
Maybe you did and you just can’t remember.

EMMA
That is ridiculous!

DR. ABE KOGAN
Uh … actually, it’s not. If someone’s had too much to drink they can suffer what’s called an en bloc blackout. It prevents the brain from creating new memories.

EMMA shakes her head in denial.

CASTLE
Emma, you wanted me to uncover the truth.

He reaches slowly and takes her phone.

EMMA
No. Not you. Please don’t tell me that you don’t believe me. I didn’t kill Angelo, okay? I mean, I wanted to marry him. I wouldn’t do this! (she walks away and her voice drops) Oh God. God. Did I? What if I did? I don’t – (she sighs)

CASTLE
Huh.

EMMA
What?

CASTLE
How do you text ‘love you’?

EMMA
What do you mean?

CASTLE
When you write ‘love you’, how do you spell it?

EMMA
I do a sideways heart and the letter u.

CASTLE
Right, except for last night when you just spelled it out, ‘love you’.

He scrolls though her texts.

EMMA
No. Uh uh. I never spell it out.

CASTLE
Yeah, and the voice in those texts from last night, it’s – it’s different from the others.

EMMA
As if somebody else wrote them?

CASTLE
Maybe. I don’t know.

EMMA
Well, if I didn’t write these, that means that somebody else did, right? Which means the killer used my phone.

She grabs her phone back and finds a bag. She dumps it inside and hands it back to CASTLE.

EMMA
You have to dust this for prints. C’mon. (she passes by him to the door) C’mon! You have to find the killer.

KOGAN
You’re not leaving us, are you?

CASTLE
No, I’m – I’m going to get you out of here.

MICKEY
Like hell you are. Look, if you and the cops aren’t going to do anything I sure as hell am.

EMMA
Shut up! (to CASTLE) What are you waiting for? C’mon! Just go, okay?

CASTLE walks to the door.

CASTLE
Mickey, don’t do anything. Please.

He leaves and EMMA locks the door behind him. She aims her gun at the hostages again.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

CASTLE leaves the building, but he startles back when the snipers outside the door snap to attention at his movement. He waves nervously and scurries off.

BECKETT
Castle.

ROMAN
Mr. Castle, what happened? What is going on in there?

CASTLE
We’ve got problems. Emma is unstable, to say the least. But that’s not the worst of it. There’s a hostage in there, he’s seen Die Hard too many times. He’s going to try to be a hero. And there’s something else I think you need to know.

BECKETT
What’s that?

He swallows hard.

CASTLE
Emma might actually be telling the truth.

BECKETT
The truth about what?

CASTLE
Beckett, I think she’s being framed for murder.

She doesn’t trust EMMA, but she trusts CASTLE.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE
But what if Emma is right? What if someone else wrote those texts and this is all just an elaborate frameup and Emma’s just a patsy?

ESPOSITO
Syntax, bro? You’re going to base Emma’s innocence on how she writes her texts?

CASTLE
I’m just saying, it’s possible.

ESPOSITO
Look, if we found DNA or prints or fibers at the crime scene, maybe.

RYAN
Sully, we get a useable print off Emma’s cell phone?

GRANT “SULLY” SULLIVAN
No. But even if we did, how could someone pull this off?

CASTLE
To use her phone without her knowing, Emma would have to have been unconscious. So … someone could have knocked her out. She has a scotch every night. Someone could have dosed her bottle.

SULLY
Or maybe she’s just some crazed fan, like Kathy Bates in Misery. (he laughs) You should be happy you didn’t get hobbled. Right?

No one else laughs.

GATES
Okay, this is your investigation. (she hands a paper to ESPOSITO) Keep running the case on Emma.

CASTLE
Captain, I’m –

GATES
Ah, let me finish. Look, Mr. Castle, over the years I have learned not to discount your little theories, no matter how fanciful. So why don’t you and Beckett work with Detective Sully and let’s see if there’s something to this.

BECKETT
Thank you, Sir.

CASTLE
Thank you.

GATES leaves.

SULLY
So, where do we start?

BECKETT
By looking into our victim, Angelo Vazquez.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

SULLY is gone. BECKETT and CASTLE are reading up on ANGELO.

CASTLE
Everything here tells the same story. Angelo was a decent guy. Ten years ago, after some petty B and E’s, he turned his life around. He volunteered with at-risk youth, he was well liked. He had been recently laid off from his mechanic’s job, but he was still upbeat. There’s nothing that explains who killed him or why, other than Emma.

BECKETT
Castle, you’re forgetting about Scarsdale. (she points to a photo of the note they found)

CASTLE
You think Emma’s suspicions are true? That he was having an affair? That some woman in Scarsdale killed him?

BECKETT
Well, something was going on in Scarsdale. Look at this. (she sits at her old desk) Three nights ago a resident complained about Angelo’s car.

CASTLE
Why?

She sets the folder down and knocks a pile of stuff to the ground. It looks like part of it is an old sandwich. She makes a face.

BECKETT
How does Sully find anything on this desk?

CASTLE
I don’t know. He must have a system. I think that was once a bagel.

BECKETT
Okay, you know what? (she types on the computer) Here we go. A Scarsdale resident on Overlook Road reported Angelo’s license plate to the police. He said the driver spent … (she trails off) … two hours drinking coffee, alone, in his car.

CASTLE
Two hours drinking coffee alone doesn’t sound like much of an affair.

BECKETT
Yeah, but what was Angelo up to? (the phone rings) Beckett.

SULLY
Hey, it’s Sully. There was nothing of interest at Angelo’s apartment, but his car is a whole other matter. Get this. Angelo had a duffle bag filled with tools of the burglar variety, a floor plan to what looks like a house, and a manual for a Ramco 4700 alarm system. I don’t think he was installing home security systems.

BECKETT
Angelo was out of work. Do you think he went back to committing B and E’s?

CASTLE
I only know one person with the answer to that question.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

Snipers and officers wait outside the dental office in case EMMA decides to come out.

INT – DENTAL OFFICE

EMMA waits for CASTLE to come back.

MICKEY
Okay, here’s the plan. Doc, act like you’re having a seizure.

KOGAN
Excuse me?

MICKEY
And then Sue, squeeze out a few tears, beg Emma to help him, and when she does, boom. I take her out. We end this, and then we meet at the bar around the corner and the first round is on me.

KOGAN
Are you out of your mind?

SUE
That is the dumbest plan ever.

MICKEY
Fine. Then I’ll do it by myself.

He waits until EMMA paces by them. Her back is to them and he tries to get behind her. He gets halfway there before there’s a knock on the door.

CASTLE
It’s Castle.

MICKEY scurries back to his seat. EMMA unlocks the door and lets CASTLE in.

CASTLE
Hey. And I brought doughnuts.

KOGAN
Hey.

MICKEY
Um, gluten free?

CASTLE sets the doughnut box down and pauses.

CASTLE
Dude, they’re doughnuts. Either you’re in or you’re out.

EMMA
You find out anything?

CASTLE
Emma, what do you know about Angelo’s trips to Scarsdale?

EMMA
Nothing, he wouldn’t tell me.

CASTLE
Is it possible he was there casing a house for a burglary?

EMMA
What? No. That’s ridiculous.

CASTLE
Do the initials S.H. mean anything to you?

EMMA
(she thinks) Uh …

CASTLE
Could someone from Angelo’s criminal past have come back?

EMMA
Wait, that was all petty stuff when he was a kid. That’s all.

CASTLE
But he wasn’t a kid anymore. The stakes were higher. He was out of work. He wanted to surprise you on your birthday. Maybe propose. What if he got into trouble trying to make that happen?

EMMA shakes her head, but it could be a possibility. She thinks about it for a long minute.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

BECKETT is still outside, watching the building.

ESPOSITO
Yo Beckett. Where’s Castle?

RYAN
He’s not in there, is he?

BECKETT
Why?

ESPOSITO
We found something. Something about Emma.

BECKETT’S face blanches.

INT – DENTAL OFFICE

CASTLE approaches EMMA slowly.

CASTLE
Emma. Let these people go. Okay? It worked. You got my attention. There’s hope now.

She wipes tears and shakes her head.

EMMA
No. Uh uh. Not until my name is cleared. No.

CASTLE’S phone rings.

CASTLE
It’s Beckett. I’m –

EMMA
(nods) Go.

He turns away and answers.

CASTLE
Hey, Beckett.

BECKETT
Do not react to what I’m about to tell you.

CASTLE
Okay.

BECKETT
Emma has been playing you this whole time.

He stiffens.

CASTLE
Interesting. Can you elaborate?

BECKETT
Angelo is not her first victim. She’s done this before. She has a sealed juvie record under her original name, Emma Jones.

CASTLE
Uh huh.

BECKETT
When she was 16 she killed her foster brother, Billy Kaas. Apparently she got drunk, lured him into their basement, and then stabbed him with a knife.

CASTLE
Well, that’s a coincidence.

BECKETT
Also known as an MO. Castle, it’s exactly what she did to Angelo. She’s unstable. You need to get out of there. Now.

He doesn’t get to respond before he hears a gun click. He turns. EMMA has hers trained on him.

EMMA
Don’t say another word. Hang up.

CASTLE does.

EMMA
She told you about Billy Kaas, didn’t she?

INT - DENTAL OFFICE

CASTLE
Look, Emma –

He tries to take a step forward.

EMMA
Back up! (he stops) I am not a murderer.

CASTLE
Says the lady pointing a gun at me.

EMMA
You weren’t supposed to find out about Billy. I mean, what is the point of a sealed record when the cops can open it whenever they feel like it.

CASTLE
I’m sure they got a subpoena first.

EMMA
And I’m sure they all had a laugh at all the adjectives describing me, right? Manic, bipolar, violent, murderer.

CASTLE
Not to be a stickler, but murderer isn’t an adjective.

EMMA
I’m not an idiot.

CASTLE
Sorry. I get sarcastic when I’m nervous.

EMMA
That’s not what I was talking about. I knew what you were going to think. Two deaths happening the exact same way? That’s why I didn’t tell you. But I’m innocent! I didn’t kill Angelo, I didn’t.

CASTLE
If that is true Emma, and you want me to help you, you have to tell me everything.

She looks at the others and then back at CASTLE. She lowers the gun and wipes away more tears.

EMMA
When I was 16 I was sent to this foster home. Twin orphans lived there. The Kaas brothers, Warren and Billy.

CASTLE
What happened?

EMMA
(shakes her head) Those two bullied me for weeks. Foster parents were in it for the money, so they didn’t care. But then one day the twins were nice to me all of a sudden. You know, I thought they, um … I thought they finally accepted me, you know? So we – we went down to the basement and drank schnapps and then … (she breaks) Billy pulled a knife on me. I was just trying to stop him. I didn’t mean to. And when the cops came Warren lied. He said I pulled the knife on them and they just – they just took him at his word.

CASTLE
Which is why you hate cops.

EMMA nods knowingly.

EMMA
I didn’t kill Angelo. I didn’t. You have to believe me.

CASTLE
I do, Emma. I believe you. But why were Angelo and Billy’s deaths staged exactly the same way?

EMMA
I have no idea. I don’t know.

CASTLE
It has to be someone who knew something about your past.

EMMA
Yeah. I mean, I guess so. But who?

CASTLE
Warren Kaas. What better way to get revenge for the death of his brother than by killing your boyfriend and pinning the murder on you?

EMMA
No, it’s not Warren. Warren’s doing eight years up in Sing Sing for assault.

CASTLE
You kept track of him?

EMMA
Of course. He’s the reason I changed my name. I mean, I have been really careful about staying off of Warren’s radar ever since he testified against me in court. He almost got me thrown in prison for life. If it wasn’t for the sisters of Saint Helena’s Home for Children, I –

CASTLE
Wait. Go back. Saint Helena’s Home for Children. Where is that?

EMMA
In Yonkers.

CASTLE
The note we found in Angelo’s jacket said “S.H. off Sawmill River Parkway”. S.H. has to be Saint Helena’s. Yonkers is off Sawmill River Parkway. Somehow Saint Helena’s is connected to this.

EMMA
But how? I – I haven’t been back there in years.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN
I spoke with Sister Francis at Saint Helena’s. She said there was a break in three nights ago.

ESPOSITO
And they have a Ramco 4700 alarm.

CASTLE
Ramco 4700. That’s the manual Angelo had in his car.

EMMA
Why would he break into my old orphanage?

RYAN
We have a pretty good idea. Sister Francis checked the records room.

INT – DENTAL OFFICE

ESPOSITO
And Emma’s sealed foster care file is missing. Looks like Angelo stole it.

EMMA
(confused) But why would he do that?

CASTLE
To find out something about you.

EMMA
No, I already told him everything about me. (CASTLE watches her) Oh God.

CASTLE
(into the phone) Guys, let me call you back. (he hangs up) You figured it out?

EMMA
(nods) I was given up for adoption when I was born. Angelo knew I always wanted to find out where I came from.

CASTLE
And that file had your adoption papers with your birth parents’ names.

EMMA
I had tried to get them in the past, but … they’re sealed.

CASTLE
That’s the surprise Angelo was going to give you tonight. At your birthday dinner. The gift of knowing who your real parents are.

EMMA tries to process that. She lets her guard down and loosens her grip on her gun. MICKEY sees his chance.

EMMA wipes away more tears, but MICKEY comes from behind and grabs the gun over her hand. He struggles with EMMA, trying to get the gun from her. SUE ducks when the gun waves in her direction. CASTLE tries to pull MICKEY away.

CASTLE
No! No! Mickey! No!

CASTLE manages to get himself in front of the gun and it goes off. CASTLE flies backward and shatters a table.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

ROMAN
All units, full breach. Go, go, go!

BECKETT runs with them.

INT – DENTAL OFFICE

EMMA runs over to CASTLE. He’s not moving.

EMMA
Oh God, I just killed Richard Castle!

The SWAT team kicks in the door and rushes in with raised guns. MICKEY kneels on the ground with his hands in the air, pointing at EMMA.

MICKEY
I didn’t do it. It was her!

EMMA just raises her hands from her spot by CASTLE.

ROMAN
(into his radio) We need an EMT right away. Let’s go!

BECKETT rushes in behind him, running over to CASTLE when she sees him on the ground. She kneels beside him.

BECKETT
Castle? Castle!

Her hands are on his face.

CASTLE
Cheeseburgers!

BECKETT startles.

CASTLE
(strained) Cheeseburgers.

BECKETT
Oh!

She helps him sit. He groans, but she’s thrilled he’s uninjured. A SWAT GUY leads EMMA away in handcuffs. CASTLE looks down at his vest and feels his chest.

CASTLE
Wow, it worked! (he points) She dotted the ‘I’!

BECKETT
Yes!

She’s just thrilled he’s alive. She pulls him in for a hug and he moans in pain.

CASTLE
Ah! Chest!

BECKETT
Ooh, sorry.

CASTLE
Ah, that hurts.

He reaches down his shirt to rub his chest.

BECKETT
Yeah well, getting hit by a projectile at a thousand feet per second is gonna … sting a bit.

CASTLE
Yeah, I think it’s going to leave a mark.

BECKETT
All that matters is that you’re okay now.

CASTLE
Oh, I’m better than okay, Beckett. I know who the killer is.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN is holding CASTLE’S Kevlar.

RYAN
She shot you in the chest and you still think she’s innocent?

CASTLE
No. She shot me in the chest and now I know she’s innocent.

He stops rubbing his bruised chest when BECKETT hands him a bag of ice.

CASTLE
Thank you. Don’t you see? Just like that vest protected me, Emma’s adoption papers? They’re protecting the killer.

ESPOSITO
You know that made no sense, right?

BECKETT
I – I think what Castle is suggesting is that one of Emma’s birth parents might be behind all of this.

CASTLE
That’s why Angelo took those records. To find one of them. What if he found one of them? Perhaps living on Overlook Road in Scarsdale? But, what if that birth parent didn’t want to be found? What if Emma learning the truth was a threat somehow?

RYAN
Castle, that’s just speculation. And if you’re right, we’ll probably never know. The killer’s most likely destroyed the records by now.

ESPOSITO
Unless Angelo hid them. I mean, they were supposed to be a surprise.

BECKETT
Head back to Angelo’s place. We need to search it again.

RYAN and ESPOSITO turn to look at her.

ESPOSITO
You are aware that you don’t actually work here anymore, right?

BECKETT falters. She had forgotten. She smiles sheepishly.

BECKETT
I’m sorry. Old habits.

ESPOSITO
Okay. I’ll go grab Sully and go check again, just in case. (he stands) But not because you asked me to. Because I’m actually on my way to.

He leaves. CASTLE smiles.

BECKETT
Okay, so, let’s suppose it is one of Emma’s birth parents. If Angelo’s murder was a setup, then how would they know how to stage it? I mean, they gave her up for adoption, so how would they know about Emma’s violent history?

CASTLE
Newspaper articles.

RYAN
No, I checked. Because she was a minor her name was withheld.

BECKETT
So then our killer had to have had access to Emma’s sealed juvie records.

CASTLE
And for that you need a subpoena.

RYAN checks the computer.

RYAN
Looks like someone skipped that step. Emma’s sealed records were opened three days ago.

BECKETT
By who?

INT – POLICE RECORDS ROOM

RYAN
Julian Carter? Hi.

The man putting away records turns to them.

RYAN
I’m Detective Ryan. This is Kate Beckett. We’re from the Twelfth. Do you have a second to help us out with something?

JULIAN
Sure. What’s up?

BECKETT
The system tagged you for opening a sealed file of an Emma Jones.

JULIAN
Yeah, that’s my job. I open files, I close files. Right now I’m filing files.

BECKETT slides the drawer closed. She’s not appreciative of his sarcasm.

JULIAN
Is there a problem?

BECKETT
I’m afraid so. You see, it was a juvie file, and you didn’t have the court’s permission to unseal it.

JULIAN
Well, I – I sometimes forget to log out of my computer, so, maybe somebody just –

RYAN steps forward.

RYAN
(sighs) Just stop it. You’ve already lost your job. Now the only question is whether you’re losing your freedom, too. Because I’m about two seconds away from arresting you for accessory to murder.

JULIAN
Wait, wait, wait. Hold on.

BECKETT
You better start talking before he pulls out his cuffs.

JULIAN gapes. RYAN looks to BECKETT, almost for permission, and she nods. He pulls his handcuffs from his hip and holds them up.

JULIAN
Okay, okay. From time to time I slip information to a lawyer.

RYAN
What kind of information?

JULIAN
Rap sheets, witness statements. Stuff like that.

BECKETT
What about with Emma?

JULIAN
Three days ago the lawyer called. Said a client wanted all the information that the police had on Emma Riggs.

BECKETT
What for?

JULIAN
He didn’t say. But when I told him Emma had a juvie file under a different last name he paid me an extra grand to unseal it.

RYAN
What’s the name of this lawyer?

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

RAYMOND VANCE
No, I’m having breakfast with the judge tomorrow.

RAYMOND VANCE Is on his phone when RYAN walks in.

RYAN
Hi, Mr. Vance. I’m Detective Ryan –

RYAN stops when VANCE holds up a finger for him to wait, but it’s not because he’s happy to.

VANCE
He’s a friend of a friend.

RYAN laughs and walks around him.

VANCE
Yeah. And then –

He doesn’t get to finish his sentence before RYAN takes his phone from him.

RYAN
He’s going to need to call you back.

RYAN hangs up and tosses the phone back.

VANCE
What is your problem?

RYAN
Actually, Mr. Vance, I’m not the one with the problem. You are.

VANCE
Okay. I’m listening.

RYAN
On behalf of a client, you paid to have Emma Riggs’ juvenile records unsealed.

VANCE
Buying secured police files is illegal and grounds for disbarment. I would never do that.

RYAN
Really? Because I have an NYPD civilian employee that begs to differ. He’s willing to testify, too.

VANCE steps forward, not intimidated by RYAN.

VANCE
Detective, I’m not some ambulance chaser. I’m a respected attorney at Kirkpatrick and Young. So unless you have any proof of those claims, good luck getting any court to take the word of a disgraced civilian employee.

VANCE turns and leaves.

RYAN
Mr. Vance, you have a client who’s mixed up in a homicide. By withholding their name, you’re obstructing justice.

VANCE
Even if I wanted to, I can’t disclose my client’s name. As you’re well aware, that falls under privileged information.

VANCE backs out of the room and RYAN sighs.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT adds a photo of VANCE to the murder board.

RYAN
Hey.

She can tell by his body language it’s bad news.

BECKETT
Oh, don’t tell me we struck out on the lawyer.

RYAN
Yeah, I’m afraid so.

CASTLE
So what do we do now?

They just look at him. RYAN shrugs.

CASTLE
C’mon, you guys. If we don’t figure this out, Emma is going away for life. What about her scotch bottle? Did the lab report come back?

RYAN
Lanie just texted. There’s no evidence of any drugs or sedatives. (CASTLE sighs) I’m sorry. It looks like we’re dead in the water.

ESPOSITO
Oh, far from it. Guess what we found at Angelo’s apartment?

SULLY doesn’t give them time to guess.

SULLY
Angelo’s birthday present to Emma. I missed it before because it was wrapped.

He sets it down and starts to open it.

ESPOSITO
You want to guess what’s inside?

SULLY hands over a paper.

ESPOSITO
(low, to SULLY) I was – I was gonna have them guess.

SULLY
Oh, I didn’t –

BECKETT reads the file.

BECKETT
According to these adoption papers, Emma’s birth mother was a woman named Stacy Moore.

SULLY holds up a photo.

SULLY
She died ten years ago.

BECKETT
And her birth father is – (she trails off and her jaw drops. ESPOSITO nods) Espo, is this right?

ESPOSITO
It’s right. Emma’s dad is Aaron Stokes.

RYAN grabs the magazine with AARON STOKES’ photo on the cover from ESPOSITO’S hands.

RYAN
The real estate developer?

CASTLE
He’s considering taking a run at governor.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, and I wonder how the governor’s mansion compares to his big house on Overlook Road in Scarsdale.

BECKETT
And let me guess, he’s a client of Kirkpatrick and Young.

ESPOSITO
That’s right.

BECKETT shakes her head.

CASTLE
Looks like Mr. Stokes is going to be trading in his big house for the … big … house.

The joke isn’t what he was aiming for, but SULLY laughs. The others just look at him. CASTLE shrugs it off and smiles.

EST – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

GATES holds up the magazine with AARON STOKES’ photo on the cover.

GATES
You ordered Aaron Stokes in for questioning? Are you serious?

ESPOSITO
You told us to build our case, and Mr. Stokes is where it went.

GATES
This is a very powerful man who happens to be golfing buddies with the Police Commissioner.

CASTLE
So because he has a standing tee time with your boss he gets away with murder?

GATES
I’m handling the interview.

RYAN
What? No, Sir. This is our case.

GATES
Yes, and it’ll be your jobs if there is any blowback. I am not going let you two risk your careers.

BECKETT
Captain, I don’t have a career to risk. How about I back you up in there?

GATES
(hesitates) Okay.

CASTLE steps forward.

CASTLE
Captain, I too have no career to risk. Why don’t I – maybe I should - (he trails off at her look) – you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to stay here. I think you guys got this handled.

The elevator dings and they turn. They have no more time. AARON STOKES has come for his questioning. A UNIFORM points toward GATES.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

AARON STOKES
Why am I here? Do you know who I am?

GATES
Why do you think you’re in this room, Mr. Stokes? A room with no recording devices.

STOKES
Okay. So what do you want from me?

GATES
We know that while you were married to your wife you were having an affair with Stacy Moore that produced a baby, Emma Riggs. (GATES slides both photos onto the table) Have you been in touch with her, Mr. Stokes?

He looks at the photo for a long moment.

STOKES
No, I’ve – I’ve never seen her before.

GATES
What about her boyfriend, Angelo Vazquez? Have you been in touch with him?

GATES adds that photo to the pile.

STOKES
No. Is Emma in trouble?

BECKETT
Well, you could say that. She’s under arrest for murdering Angelo. But don’t worry. We know that she’s being framed for that murder.

STOKES
Who’s framing her?

BECKETT
Did you know that Angelo stole her adoption records form Saint Helena’s Home for Children?

STOKES
Saint Helena’s. (BECKETT nods) Stacy and I went there to make the arrangements. What was I supposed to do? Tell my wife I was having a baby with another woman? Thirty one years and not a day has gone by that I haven’t said to myself, I should try to find her. And not a day has gone by where I have then said, no, no, maybe tomorrow. (pauses) It’s her birthday.

BECKETT
You still haven’t answered my question. Did you know that Angelo stole those adoption records?

STOKES
What are you two getting at?

GATES
Look at it from our perspective, Mr. Stokes. The last thing you need right now is for some love child to emerge and destroy your marriage and any chance of running for public office.

STOKES
Are you suggesting that I had something to do with this?

BECKETT
We know that Angelo showed up at your home three days ago. Did you meet him then?

STOKES is surprised.

STOKES
I was in Chicago three days ago.

GATES
If that is true, then why did you pay to unseal Emma’s juvenile record?

STOKES
Where are you getting this?

BECKETT
From your lawyer, Mr. Stokes.

STOKES
What lawyer?

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

VANCE
Okay, this is borderline police harassment. If you continue to hold me here against my will you either need to –

ESPOSITO
Just wait. Before you get all lawyer-y, we already know everything.

RYAN
Starting with you being Aaron Stokes’s son-in-law.

VANCE
So?

RYAN
So, when your in-laws were out of town, you were staying at the Scarsdale house.

ESPOSITO
So when Angelo went to look for Mr. Stokes, he met you instead.

RYAN
That’s when he told you the story about Mr. Stokes’ long lost daughter, Emma.

VANCE
Look – look. Yes, I stayed at my father-in-law’s house. But I’ve never seen this guy before in my life.

RYAN
Are you sure? Because, well, this is security footage from inside Angelo’s apartment building, taken about an hour after his death down at Emma’s place.

RYAN puts a laptop on the table and ESPOSITO hits the play button.

ESPOSITO
Now, wait a minute. Who - who is that? That … (he zooms in) … that’s you.

RYAN
Using Angelo’s keys to get in. How’d you get those?

ESPOSITO
Huh.

RYAN
Now, I can only think of one reason you’d break in to his apartment, and that would be to find Emma’s adoption records to cover up any link back to your family.

ESPOSITO
Now, according to this video, you were inside the apartment searching for a good two hours. Damn. You didn’t think to look at the wrapped gift for Emma, did you? (he shows VANCE the box and pulls out the file) Oops. Her adoption records.

RYAN
Up until then your plan was going perfectly. You spiked Emma’s scotch bottle with knockout drops and you swapped it for an empty one. It was pretty clever.

VANCE laughs.

ESPOSITO
But not so perfectly to throw the dosed bottle away at your house. Yeah, we found the bottle in your recycle bin. It tested positive for chloral hydrate.

VANCE nods.

ESPOSITO
Oops again.

VANCE
All of this is circumstantial. I mean, what could possibly be my motive?

RYAN
Oh, your father-in-law helped us out with that one. Your law firm represents the Stokeses. Now, you knew they were about to transfer the majority of their wealth into a trust for their daughter. Your wife.

ESPOSITO
Now, you don’t want some Little Orphan Annie coming around, making a claim for half.

RYAN
That’s when you decided to kill the one man that knew the truth and frame it on the unknowing heir.

ESPOSITO
There’s just one thing that we’re not so sure about.

RYAN
Are you going to make a deal and plea to murder? Or are you going to take your chances in court?

ESPOSITO
Do lawyers have lawyers?

VANCE doesn’t say anything. He can’t.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

CASTLE
Emma?

She’s sitting by herself, but her head snaps up when she hears CASTLE.

CASTLE
He confessed. It’s over.

She drops her head for a second, then she stands and grabs CASTLE for a hug. He gasps.

CASTLE
Bullet.

EMMA
Right. Sorry.

He takes a deep breath.

CASTLE
Um, I hope you don’t mind, but someone wants to meet you.

STOKES comes in the opposite door and EMMA turns to look at him. She turns back to CASTLE to watch him back out of the room, but after he’s gone she turns to STOKES. They approach each other slowly and he holds out his hand to grab hers.

STOKES
I am Aaron.

EMMA
Emma.

What starts as a handshake turns into a hold.

STOKES
Happy birthday.

It breaks some of the tension and she laughs. It’s still awkward, but they hug.

INT - GATES’S OFFICE

BECKETT puts her empty glass on the desk and stands. GATES stands, too.

GATES
Well, nice having you back.

BECKETT
Oh, it was nice being back, even if it was just for one day.

They share a smile. There’s a knock on the door.

GATES
Mr. Stokes. What can we do for you?

STOKES
Earlier you two were only doing your jobs, but I assumed the worst and I’m sorry.

GATES
Well, how are you doing?

STOKES
I’m not really sure. I am going to be there for Emma this time. No matter what happens at her trial, she’s not going to be alone. Well, I should leave the both of you to your work. Captain, thank you. (he shakes her hand) For everything. You too, Detective. (he shakes BECKETT’S hand)

BECKETT
Oh, actually, I’m not a detective, but ...

STOKES
You’re not?

BECKETT shakes her head.

GATES
Well, she should be. But your golfing buddy’s budget cuts have … gotten in the way.

STOKES
Really?

GATES nods.

INT TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE fingers the bullet hole in his vest.

CASTLE
Wow. And to think you boys mocked me when I had this made four years ago. I think I’ll have it framed.

RYAN
Hey, what does it say about your writing when your number one fan tries to kill you?

CASTLE
That was an accident.

ESPOSITO
Bro, one inch higher and it would have been a tragedy.

He tosses aside the vest.

CASTLE
But on the bright side, your autographed copies of Deadly Heat would be worth way more.

BECKETT
Not funny, Castle.

She sits on a desk next to him.

CASTLE
Little bit funny.

ESPOSITO
You know, Beckett, despite your fiancé’s near death, today was fun.

RYAN
Yeah. We miss working with you.

She smiles.

BECKETT
Good. (she holds up a badge) ‘cause I’m back.

CASTLE
What?

ESPOSITO and RYAN sit up straighter at the news. BECKETT grins.

CASTLE
What – what about the Commissioner’s hiring freeze?

BECKETT
Mr. Stokes had a conversation with the Commissioner, and apparently he found some money.

CASTLE
So you are back. (he’s excited) Which means … I’m back. (he smiles, then falters) Am – am I back?

She pretends to think it over.

BECKETT
Yes. Captain Gates said that you can serve as a consultant again.

CASTLE
But how does that – because now we’re in a – (he gestures that they’re together) – so, do we have to hide our relationship? To keep it a secret?

BECKETT
Well, the Commissioner is aware of it and said that it’s okay as long as we behave professionally in the workplace. (CASTLE nods) And Captain Gates said that that can be our engagement gift.

CASTLE smiles widely. He’s thrilled. RYAN stands.

RYAN
Hey, everybody. Listen up. Beckett is back!

Everyone starts clapping. BECKETT smiles, thrilled herself.

CASTLE
And tonight at The Old Haunt, drinks are on the house.

There’s cheering.

CASTLE
(to BECKETT) Congratulations.

BECKETT
Thank you.

He tries to pull her in for a kiss. She’s not protesting, but he pulls back.

CASTLE
Whoa. Actually, no. We can’t. Not here. It’s inappropriate. (he looks around) This is the workplace. We’ve gotta be professional.

BECKETT
Ah, well, you know I’m not officially back until tomorrow.

CASTLE
I see.

He wastes no time pulling her in for a long kiss.

THE END

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