6x13 Transcript

Transcribed by:
McManda
CASTLE
EPISODE 6x13
"Limelight"


EST - NEW YORK CITY, NIGHTTIME

EXT – NEW YORK CITY APARTMENT BUILDING

A limo pulls up to the building. The paparazzi that are waiting outside turn and start to snap photos.

DOORMAN
All right, guys! Keep it clear! Don’t you have anything better to do?

He reaches the limo and opens the door. MANDY SUTTON gets out and starts to walk to the door.

HARVEY STRYKER
Mandy! Mandy! Have you talked to Zach since the breakup?

She doesn’t say anything. The doorman tries to hold the mob back.

HARVEY
Do you regret cheating on him? (still no answers) Is there any truth to the rumor that you’re going back into rehab?

The continue to snap photos as she disappears inside.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

It’s morning and KATE BECKETT and RICHARD CASTLE are sitting together on the couch. He’s reading a book, she’s reading the newspaper.

KATE BECKETT
Castle?

RICHARD CASTLE
Hum?

She sighs heavily.

BECKETT
Should I be worried about your commitment to our engagement?

He looks up. Why does that sounds like a loaded question?

CASTLE
No. Why?

She sips her coffee.

BECKETT
(nonchalant) Because it says right here you’re getting back together with your ex-wife.

CASTLE
What?

BECKETT
Right here. (she hands him the paper) Page Six.

He takes the paper and starts to scan the article.

CASTLE
“Castle caught cuddling with ex-wife publisher.” No, no. This was a business lunch. We were discussing Heat and Storm books.

She sidles up next to him and points to the paper.

BECKETT
Oh, so … um … you weren’t “gazing lovingly into her eyes”?

CASTLE
(shakes his head indignant) She has spinach in her teeth. That’s just – okay – I don’t – (he looks at her) See, this wouldn’t happen if you’d just let me announce our engagement.

BECKETT
We already talked about this. Everybody that’s important to us already knows.

CASTLE
(nods) Yes, and just because I’m a public figure doesn’t mean you need to be one, too.

BECKETT
Exactly.

CASTLE
Well, so long as you don’t mind this sort of thing happening.

He hands the paper back to her.

BECKETT
I don’t. ‘cause it’s not true. (she tosses the paper aside) And it only gives me more material to torture you with.

She bites at his cheek and grabs his neck for a hug.

CASTLE
Mmm… and the student becomes the master.

They’re interrupted by the buzzing of the front door.

CASTLE
(checks his watch) Who rings the doorbell at 6:45 in the morning?

He answers it anyway. It’s PI.

PI
Hey, Mr. C! Hope I didn’t wake you.

CASTLE
No.

PI
I was just on my way to work, thought I would pick up my letter of recommendation.

CASTLE
Right. For your grant, uh, application.

PI
(nods) Really appreciate you doing it.

CASTLE
I know I told Alexis I was finished, but I haven’t really quite, um … I’m still tweaking it. Getting it just right.

PI
You’re a perfectionist. Like me. Well, take your time. Not too much time. The deadline’s tonight.

CASTLE
I’ll have it done by lunch.

PI
Thanks, Mr. C! (they high five) You’re the best!

CASTLE
I know.
PI

(to BECKETT, in the kitchen) Hi!

BECKETT
(waves) Hi, Pi.

PI
Bye.

CASTLE shuts the door on him and goes to join BECKETT in the kitchen.

BECKETT
You haven’t written a word, have you?

CASTLE
No. But in my defense, what am I supposed to write? It’s Pi.

BECKETT
So why’d you offer?

CASTLE
I didn’t. Alexis asked and … (he shrugs) I can’t say no. (he hopes his laptop) But no more excuses. I’m going to do it right now.

He goes to turn on his computer but BECKETT’S phone rings. He slowly shuts the laptop.

CASTLE
Unless that’s a murder.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

People line the street and police try to hold them back.

HARVEY
This is Harvey Stryker with CelebGazer.com. We’re getting unconfirmed reports that pop diva Mandy Sutton is dead at 22.

CASTLE rounds BECKETT’S car to catch up with her on the sidewalk.

CASTLE
Mandy Sutton? Oh no. Alexis used to love her kid’s show, Mandy Melody. She was a regular teen by day and a crime fighting pop star by night and nobody recognized her at school because she wore glasses.

BECKETT
Well it looks like she could have used that trick in real life. I mean, look at this. No wonder she was such a mess.

HARVEY
Detective! Can you confirm for us that Mandy Sutton’s dead?

BECKETT
I – you know –

She’s trying her best to evade the press.

HARVEY
Can you give us details on how she died?

BECKETT walks quicker.

BECKETT
I have work to do. Sorry.

HARVEY
Oh hey, Richard Castle. Is it true that you’re getting back together with your ex-wife?

BECKETT raises her eyebrows, but she stays silent.

CASTLE
This isn’t about me today.

He gives HARVEY a smile as he walks after BECKETT.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

BECKETT
Uh … Castle, how come you didn’t deny it?

CASTLE
What do you mean, back there? Are you kidding? Yeah, if I deny that then they think it’s true. I thought that stuff doesn’t bother you.

BECKETT
It doesn’t. (to KEVIN RYAN) Hey. So Mandy Sutton lived in this building?

KEVIN RYAN
Yeah. Penthouse. Doorman found her just before six this morning.

They approach the body.

BECKETT
OD?

LANIE PARISH
Given her lifestyle, you’d think. But this is plain old fashioned murder. Blunt force trauma to the back of the head. The facial lacerations probably happened with the fall.

BECKETT
Okay, when did this happen?

LANIE
Lividity puts it between nine and eleven last night.

JAVIER
Well, we can cut that time frame in half. The doorman said that the limo dropped her off at the lobby last night at 10PM.

BECKETT
She was killed within an hour of returning home?

CASTLE
What was she doing back here?

ESPOSITO
Doorman didn’t know, but he said that she uses that door sometimes when she wants to avoid the crowd.

CASTLE
So … maybe she was sneaking out or meeting someone?

RYAN
If so, it’s probably someone she knew. Gates are locked on both sides. You need an access code to get tin.

BECKETT
Is there any security cam footage we can pull?

RYAN
Not back here.

CASTLE
Ironic, seeing as how she spent her entire life in front of cameras.

BECKETT
Paparazzi was out front last night. Let’s see if we can get copies of their photos. Whoever was behind this might have been in that crowd. And no talking to the press. Not until we know what’s going on.

KELLY JANE
Where is she? Oh my God, Mandy.

KELLY comes from inside the building and rushes towards them.

ESPOSITO
Ma’am –

KELLY
Mandy.

ESPOSITO
Ma’am, this is a crime scene. You can’t be back here.

KELLY
You don’t understand. I’m her personal assistant.

ESPOSITO
You still can’t be back here.

BECKETT
But we will need to take you to the station to get a statement. Do you have contact information for her next of kin?

KELLY
That would be her – her manager. (shakes her head) I mean, her mother.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

MARILYN SUTTON
How could this happen? What was she even doing in that alley?

BECKETT
Do you know of anyone who would have wanted to harm your daughter?

MARILYN wipes her tears.

MARILYN
Yeah. A lot of people dislike her, who she became. Provocative clothes and dancing. They just wanted her to be Mandy Melody forever.

CASTLE
Had she received any threats recently?

KELLY
Sure she’d get some disturbing letters, but any that were too aggressive we’d turn over to the security firm.

BECKETT
Okay, we’re going to need to see all of those letters. Now, do you know if she was planning on meeting with anyone at her apartment last night?

MARILYN
We hadn’t spoken to her in two days.

CASTLE
She was missing?

MARILYN
No. We knew where she was.

KELLY
It wasn’t hard to track her on the social media and gossip sites. She was partying pretty hard.

MARILYN
But the last few months, Mandy had been doing pretty great. She’d stayed clean since her last stint in rehab. She even met a guy while she was doing her community service. Zach. He builds houses for the poor. And then a couple nights ago she went to a club for someone’s birthday and … (she trails off) She got drunk and she started making out with an old boyfriend.

KELLY
And someone took a picture. It hit all the gossip sites. When Zach saw …

MARILYN
It was too much for him. They got into a big fight and he left her.

BECKETT
How long had they been dating?

MARILYN
Four months.

CASTLE
Which means he would know how to access the alley behind your daughter’s building.

BECKETT
Do you know where we could find him?

EXT – CONSTRUCTION SITE

RYAN and ESPOSITO have found ZACH BENTON at a construction site where he’s helping to build at house.

ZACH BENTON
It’s funny, the last time I saw this picture I didn’t think I could feel any worse, but now that she’s gone –

ESPOSITO
Yeah? Exactly how bad did you feel?

ZACH hands the photo of MANDY kissing another man back to ESPOSITO.

ZACH
Look, I loved her. I would never hurt her.

RYAN
Then you wouldn’t mind us asking where you were between ten and eleven last night.

ZACH
I – I didn’t do this, okay? I was at a lumber yard in Fairfield, New Jersey loading up a truck with the rest of these guys. You can – you can ask them.

ESPOSITO
And the last time you saw her?

ZACH
Two days ago when I broke it off. Why are you asking me these questions? I’m not the one with the attempted manslaughter charges.

RYAN
Manslaughter charge?

ZACH
Yeah, her ex-boyfriend, Jesse Jones. The one in that picture? He’s the one who got her into drugs in the first place. Mandy never told anyone this, but the last time they broke up he threatened to kill her.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

They’ve brought JESSE JONES in for questioning.

BECKETT
Weapons charges, aggravated assault. That’s a hell of a resume, Jesse. How does someone like you hook up with a superstar like Mandy?

JESSE JONES
(shrugs) Like all the other pretty little rich girls that come to me for their ink. She was looking for a lot more than a tattoo and I was happy to provide.

BECKETT
So I read online that the two of you were stormy and it didn’t end well. You trashed her apartment and made some pretty serious threats.

JESSE
(shrugs again) Water under the bridge.

BECKETT
Until two nights ago when you guys hooked up. How did that happen?

JESSE
I was at a bar. She came in, threw herself at me like old times, and I obliged. That was the last time I saw her.

BECKETT
How’d you take it? When right after that photo of you two appeared she told Celeb Gazer that you were – (she consults her notes) “human trash” and that “that night was the biggest mistake of her life”.

JESSE
She seemed to like it okay at the time.

BECKETT
Where were you last night between ten and eleven?

JESSE
I was at a pool hall in Queens with some friends.

BECKETT’S phone rings. She tosses him a pen and a pad of paper.

BECKETT
Names.

She leaves to answer her phone.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
Lanie, what’s going on?

LANIE
We … have a little problem here.

BECKETT
So what’s the problem?

MARILYN
I’ll tell you what the problem is. That’s not my daughter. That’s not Mandy.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, DAYTIME

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT adds a photo to the murder board.

BECKETT
So Mandy’s mom identified our victim as Claire Samuels, 25. She was an aspiring actress.

CASTLE
And Mandy’s decoy.

CAPTAIN VICTORIA GATES
Decoy?

CASTLE
Yeah, to fool the press. It’s a practice not uncommon in this age of stalker-azzi.

BECKETT
So she’d dress up as Mandy, she’d put on sunglasses, she’d let the hordes follow her so that Mandy could go about unnoticed.

GATES compares photos of MANDY and CLAIRE. There’s a distinct similarity.

BECKETT
Now, we’ve notified Claire’s parents. They’re flying in. And ESPOSITO’s digging into her life as we speak.

GATES
So if Claire is our actual victim, then where is Mandy Sutton?

BECKETT
We don’t know. No one has seen her and she’s not answering her phone.

GATES
Given that Claire was pretending to be Mandy when she was killed, then we need to consider the very real possibility that Mandy Sutton was our killer’s intended target. And that they might be looking to finish the job.

CASTLE
They may already have, which is why we can’t find her.

KELLY
Found her. (she’s out of breath) She’s checked into the Wessex Hotel under one of her aliases. But she’s not answering her room phone and she’s not responding to knocks on the door.

INT – WESSEX HOTEL

The CONCIERGE opens the door to MANDY’S hotel suite. The place is a mess. It’s been trashed. BECKETT notices MANDY’S body on the ground behind the couch in a mirror.

BECKETT
(low) Castle.

They rush forward. There’s a large red stain on the carpet by her head, but BECKETT realizes when she realizes that MANDY isn’t dead. She’s passed out.

BECKETT
That’s not blood. It’s wine.

She pushes MANDY onto her back. MANDY moans.

MANDY SUTTON
Closing time already?

CASTLE and BECKETT just stare at her.

MANDY
Who are you?

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

MANDY
What do you mean, I’m dead?

BECKETT
Claire Samuels was killed last night and the world think that that was you.

MANDY
Who?

BECKETT gapes.

CASTLE
Claire Samuels. She’s your decoy.

MARILYN
The girl we dressed to look like you, to confuse the paparazzi.

MARILYN tries to prod some understanding into MANDY. She’s clearly hung over.

MANDY
Oh. Oh. Yeah. That’s pretty harsh.

BECKETT
Do you know why she went to your apartment last night?

MANDY
No. Why?

BECKETT
Well, I mean, we’re trying to figure out how she got there, and your mom said that she wasn’t scheduled to work yesterday, so …

CASTLE
Yeah, the limo company claims the car she arrived in was ordered by you.

MANDY
I’ve never drunk dialed a limo before, but – (she grabs her phone to check the history) - nope. Wasn’t me.

CASTLE
What about Claire? Did you call her?

MANDY
No. I barely know her.

MARILYN
We discouraged personal contact. It wouldn’t make much sense to have a decoy if they’re going to be seen hanging out together.

MANDY leans her head back against the couch.

MANDY
Can I lay down now?

BECKETT
Actually, Miss Sutton, we have a couple more questions for you about your life.

MANDY
My life?

CASTLE
Yeah. We think you may have been the intended target.

MANDY
Oh. Yeah. That does make more sense. (she slumps over and rubs her head) Okay.

BECKETT
So um, do you know if anyone would have wanted to hurt you? Do you have any enemies?

MANDY
The press. But they wouldn’t hurt me. Without me who would they write all those bad things about?

BECKETT
Okay, well, the last two days when you were out socializing did you have any fights or did you upset anyone?

MANDY
(shrugs) Probably. (BECKETT waits) I’m a little hazy on the details.

BECKETT sighs.

BECKETT
Okay.

She stands.

MANDY
Is that it?

BECKETT
Yeah. For now. In the meantime, you should probably go back to the hotel and lay low in your room.

MARILYN
Shouldn’t we make an announcement? Let everyone know that she isn’t dead?

BECKETT
Well, you know, if someone was trying to kill her, it may be safer to let them assume they’ve actually succeeded while we’re still doing our job.

MARILYN
How long? She starts a tour next week, and as her manager I can’t imagine that it’s going to help ticket sales if everyone thinks she’s dead.

MANDY
Yep, wouldn’t want to screw up the big comeback tour.

MARILYN
Sweetie, you’ve worked really hard on those new songs.

BECKETT
We’ve talking about staying out of sight for a day. Maybe less. Hopefully by then we’ll have a lead to help us figure out who’s behind this.

RYAN
Uh, Beckett? I might have an idea about that.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORKROOM

RYAN hands BECKETT a letter.

RYAN
We found this anonymous letter in your fan mail.

BECKETT
(reading) “I’m watching you and I don’t like what I see.”

MANDY
Yeah well, get in line. Guys, look around. I get letter form creepizoids all the time.

RYAN
But in addition to the letter he also included this.

He sets some photos on the table. They’re on MANDY sleeping.

MANDY
Oh my God. That’s my bedroom. While I was sleeping.

MARILYN
Your building is supposed to be secure. How did he get in?

BECKETT
That’s inkjet paper.

RYAN
Mmhmm.

MANDY
So?

RYAN
So we might be able to track it.

MANDY
How?

BECKETT
Most people don’t know this, but the serial number of the printer that was used to make these photographs is actually embedded into the picture.

RYAN
It’s printed in tiny little yellow dots invisible to the naked eye. It’s an FBI thing used to track counterfeiters.

MANDY
(sighs) Okay. I don’t feel so hot.

CASTLE
You know, I – I think someone needs a cup of coffee.

She leads MANDY away toward the break room.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BREAK ROOM

CASTLE sets about to making MANDY a latte. He hands it to her.

CASTLE
All right. Here is your four shot latte. How’re you feeling?

MANDY
Considering I’m supposed to be dead – (she gives him a wry look) – about right.

CASTLE
Yeah.

MANDY
I just can’t believe that freak was actually in my bedroom.

CASTLE
Well, we’ll find him. I know how tough it can be. The crazy fans, the constant scrutiny, the pressure of living your life under a microscope. I mean, I can relate. On a smaller scale, of course, but still, it’s …

MANDY
(she studies him) And … who are you?

CASTLE grimaces.

CASTLE
On a much smaller scale.

ALEXIS
Dad! There you are!

MANDY pulls her hood up so she’s not quite so recognizable.

CASTLE
Alexis? What are you doing here? Oh, the letter! For Pi! I – I just – I’m about to – just going to make a few tweaks –

ALEXIS
You haven’t written it.

CASTLE
Not all – not yet.

ALEXIS
I thought you might need some help, so I came up with some talking points for you.

CASTLE
Oh, good. Okay, um … (he reads) “outstanding person, a natural leader” –

ALEXIS
Dad, I know you and Pi don’t always see eye to eye. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this –

CASTLE
No, listen. Hey – (he sets her phone on the table) – hey, Pi and I see eye to eye on one every important, redheaded thing, okay? (he hugs her) Love you.

ALEXIS
I love you, too. (she pulls back) Hey, can you believe that about Mandy Sutton? It’s weird, right?

MANDY shows interest when ALEXIS starts talking about her.

CASTLE
Yes, weird.

CASTLE goes to let ALEXIS know that MANDY is sitting right next to them, but ALEXIS keeps talking.

ALEXIS
You remember how much I loved her show? And those secret identity glasses? If you were mad at me I’d wear a pair of glasses to dinner and you’d pretend you didn’t know who I was?

MANDY smiles.

CASTLE
I remember. Actually –

ALEXIS
But then she grew up and, whoa. I mean, how does that happen? How does someone become such a hot mess?

CASTLE tries to get her to stop talking, but the damage is done. He covers his mouth in horror. MANDY puts her phone down and pushes back her hood to face ALEXIS with a glare.

ALEXIS
(horrified) Oh my God. I thought you were –

MANDY
Yeah.

CASTLE
Alexis, this is Mandy. We’re just, uh, keeping her under wraps. For now. (to MANDY) This is my daughter.

MANDY hums in recognition, but she’s not impressed.

ALEXIS
It’s nice to meet you.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT is on the phone.

BECKETT
No, Dad. It’s not true. (listens) Yes, I know what they wrote. We’re still engaged. (pause) What do you mean Aunt Theresa put it on her Facebook? Well tell her – tell her to take it down.

She notices that ESPOSITO is watching her conversation with interest.

BECKETT
I gotta go. I love you. (listens; smiles) Bye.

She hangs up.

BECKETT
Hey, Espo? Do you believe everything that they write in the newspapers?

ESPOSITO
Oh. (scoffs) Hell no. I mean, except for that thing between Castle and his ex-wife. I mean, that’s …

He trails off at her glare. She’s not as amused by his joke as he’d hoped.

BECKETT
Did you find anything on Claire?

ESPOSITO
As a matter of fact, I did. I went into the phone records of that limo company. Turns out that Claire was the one that ordered that limo last night.

BECKETT
Why would Claire order a limo to take her to Mandy’s place?

ESPOSITO
I don’t know, but I just got off the phone with Claire’s roommate. She said Claire’s been going through some things in the last couple of days. She’s been upset, crying.

RYAN
Hey. (he holds up a photo) Those photos of Mandy in her bedroom? I traced the printer’s serial number to an electronics store in Midtown. According to the extended warranty it belongs to a Ken Castor.

BECKETT opens the file and scans the details.

BECKETT
So he’s done time.

RYAN
For aggravated assault. And then two years ago he was hit with a restraining order for stalking … Mandy Sutton.

BECKETT
Old habits die hard.

RYAN
And those paparazzi photos from the night that she was killed? I went through them. (he hands her a photo) Look who was right there when Claire stepped out
of that limo.

BECKETT
Same guy.

She smiles.

INT – KEN CASTOR’S APARTMENT

RYAN kicks in the door and ESPOSITO follows him in. They’ve got their guns drawn.

RYAN
Police!

ESPOSITO
NYPD!

They sweep the area.

ESPOSITO
Kitchen, clear. Bedroom?

RYAN
Clear. Hey. Closet.

RYAN waits with his gun raised as ESPOSITO slowly opens the door to the closet. KEN CASTOR runs out and RYAN catches him and throws him to the floor. ESPOSITO helps RYAN handcuff him.

RYAN
You okay?

ESPOSITO
Yeah.

ESPOSITO notices the décor in the closet. It’s a shrine to MANDY.

ESPOSITO
I think we got our guy.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

KEN CASTOR
No, listen. You don’t understand.

He looks up from the photos or MANDY ESPOSITO has placed on the table.

ESPOSITO
The hell we don’t. We know you took those pictures, Ken. And we know that you were in her apartment.

KEN
Because she needed me.

BECKETT
Needed you?

KEN
I was protecting her. I was watching over her and she – she needed that.

ESPOSITO
Right. Because she didn’t have people watching her, staring at her already.

KEN
They didn’t care! Not like me. They don’t understand her. I mean, they drove her to it, you know? That’s why I sent her the pictures. Because she needed to know someone cared. She – she needed to know someone was watching.

BECKETT
Is that what you were doing outside of her apartment last night?

BECKETT shows him the photo from the crime scene.

BECKETT
Watching?

KEN
I should have saved her. But I never saw her. I – I waited for the limo, but then that girl came out. The not-Mandy. The other girl. So I ran around to the back alley and waited across the street. When the other girl goes in the front that means Mandy goes in the back. But - but she didn’t.

BECKETT
Wait, you waited for Mandy out in back?

KEN
Yeah.

BECKETT
Did you see anything else? Did you see anyone go in or out of that alley?

KEN
Just the motorcycle.

ESPOSITO
Wait a minute. What – what motorcycle?

KEN
Well, right when I was going in the back there was a motorcycle that was going into the – the alley.

BECKETT
What time? When?

KEN
10:07. I – I wrote it down. I write everything down. And then at 10:12 it left.

BECKETT
Did you get a license plate?

KEN
I couldn’t write it down. It was going too fast.

ESPOSITO
What about the rider? Did you see his face?

KEN
They were wearing a helmet. I didn’t know Mandy was back there. I mean, I never saw her go back.

ESPOSITO
What about the motorcycle? Color? Trim?

KEN
I wrote that down. It was red. It was, um … it was a red Ducati 800 Supersport. It had gold wheels and it had a flame decal on the body.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT and ESPOSITO leave Ken in the interrogation room. RYAN joins them from the observation room.

RYAN
What do you think?

BECKETT
He’s a nutjob. But he’s probably not our killer.

RYAN
Yeah? How’s that?

BECKETT
Unlike the paparazzi, he knew Claire was getting out of the limo, so he can tell them apart.

ESPOSITO
Yeah. Since he’s obsessed with Mandy, there’d be no reason for him to go after Claire.

BECKETT
We’ll hold him, but if he’s not our killer he’s probably our best witness. Get ahold of traffic cam footage in the area. Let’s see if we can get a plate on that Ducati.

ESPOSITO
Gold wheels and a flame decal on the body? It’s gotta be a custom job.

RYAN
Yeah. I’ll check with bike shops in the area and see if I can find the place that did the work.

BECKETT
Where’s Castle?

RYAN
He’s having dinner with his other ex-wife. Something about not wanting her to feel left out.

RYAN smirks at his joke. His smile falls at BECKETT’S glare.

RYAN
He’s holed up in the break room writing that letter for Alexis’s boyfriend.

BECKETT
Thank you.

She rolls her eyes as they leave, but part of her is amused. She watches CASTLE through the window.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

ALEXIS
Will you stop worrying? He’ll have lots of great things to say about you. I guarantee it.

PI
I don’t know. I’m not exactly Mr. C’s favorite person. It is taking an awfully long time.

ALEXIS and PI are walking down the street.

ALEXIS
He does have other things to do, you know.

PI
No, Al, that’s not what I meant.

ALEXIS
Maybe he’s done by now. He said he’d text me when it was ready. Let’s see… (she pulls her phone out of her pocket) That’s weird. My phone’s off. (she turns
it on and it starts to ring) That’s not my ring. (she answers it) Hello?

MANDY
You have my phone.

ALEXIS
Mandy? Hi. Uh … yeah, I just realized. It’s funny. We must have switched.

MANDY
I need it. I’m at the Wessex Hotel.

ALEXIS
Okay. Sure. It’s not like I took it on purpose, or anything. It’s just a misunderstanding.

MANDY
Room 522.

ALEXIS
Yeah, sure. Not a …. Hello? (she looks at the phone, but the call ended) I guess I’m bringing Mandy her phone.

PI
(looks up from his phone) I – I gotta head uptown. The bee pupa are emerging. See you later?

ALEXIS
Okay.

PI
Oh.

He starts to leave, but turns back for a kiss before he goes. ALEXIS rolls her eyes and they head in different directions.

INT – WESSEX HOTEL

MANDY opens the door to her room. She’s not so thrilled to see ALEXIS.

MANDY
Hey.

She walks away from the door, leaving ALEXIS to follow.

ALEXIS
Hey. So uh … here’s your phone.

They switch phones.

ALEXIS
Look, I’m sorry about that whole hot mess thing I said before.

MANDY
Sorry that you said it or sorry that I heard it?

ALEXIS
I … should probably go.

ALEXIS turns to leaves, but stops when MANDY speaks.

MANDY
It happens when you’re not looking.

ALEXIS
Excuse me?

MANDY
Before, you asked how it happens? How someone becomes like me? It happens when you’re not looking and by the time you realize it, it’s already who you are. Like the car crash on the side of the road everybody stops and watches.

She sits. ALEXIS does, too.

ALEXIS
That doesn’t mean that’s who you have to be. You can always change.

MANDY
Turns out I don’t do change so well. But you steal a police car and you set it on fire? I’m your girl. Or if you find the greatest guy in the world, fall madly in love, and then mess it up by hooking up with my dirtbag ex? (she shrugs) That I can do.

ALEXIS
Yeah, I saw that picture online.

MANDY
You and the rest of the world.

She takes a drink of the liquor in her hand.

ALEXIS
Maybe if you didn’t drink.

MANDY
If I don’t drink then I start to feel. And I don’t like what I feel. I wish I had those glasses from Mandy Melody and I’d just put them on and … disappear.

ALEXIS nods.

ALEXIS
I know how you feel.

MANDY
(skeptically) How could you possible know how I feel?

ALEXIS
Because right now I wish I could disappear from my life, too.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, NIGHTTIME

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BREAK ROOM

CASTLE is still working on PI’S letter.

BECKETT
(on the phone) Okay, thanks. I’ll check back. (she hangs up) Hey. So how’s Pi’s recommendation going?

CASTLE
It took me less time to write the last Derrick Storm novel and though both are works of fiction at least that one was believable. How’s the case coming?

BECKETT
Well we got a description of the motorcycle that left the crime scene and tech’s trying to get a plate off of traffic cam footage, but so far no luck.

ESPOSITO
Our luck’s just changed. We got the son of a b*tch.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO
We found the shop that outfitted a red Ducati 800 with gold wheels and a flame decal for one Josh Greenberg.

BECKETT
Is that our guy?

RYAN
Josh Greenberg had a slight liquidity problem, so he sold that bike three days ago for cash to … (he moves a photo across the murder board) … this guy.

CASTLE
Jesse Jones, Mandy’s ex.

BECKETT
So he lied to us. He was in that alley. All right. Bring him in.

RYAN
We already sent a car over to his place. He’s not there.

ESPOSITO
Mandy might be able to help out. She probably knows his hangouts.

BECKETT
All right. Go.

INT – WESSEX HOTEL

MANDY pops open another bottle of liquor.

ALEXIS
The thing about my boyfriend is, I thought I was being so grown up. Moving in with him, getting my own place. But now it’s my whole life and I’m pretty sure I’ve made a huge mistake. Do you know why I’m helping him with his grant application? Because if he gets it he’ll have to travel.

MANDY
That is messed up. You need to tell him.

ALEXIS
Tell him what? That I changed my mind? I don’t want a relationship? We have a lease.

MANDY
That’s romantic.

ALEXIS
And he doesn’t deserve it. He hasn’t done anything wrong. Oh, and then there’s my dad. What do I tell him, huh? That he was right all along? That I wasn’t ready? (she laughs humorlessly)

MANDY
I wish I would have said that. I wasn’t ready for so many things.

ALEXIS
Do you ever look back on something you’ve done and it’s like somebody else is doing it?

MANDY gives her a look.

MANDY
You’re kidding, right?

ALEXIS
Right. Sorry, I – haven’t had anyone to talk to.

MANDY
(sighs) Clearly.

ALEXIS gives her an exasperated look.

MANDY
Be true to yourself. That’s what Zach would say. And if a situation is bad for you, leave it. That’s what we were going to do and that’s what you should do, too.

ALEXIS tries to say something, but MANDY’S phone beeps.

ALEXIS
Mandy? Is someone texting you?

MANDY
Weird, since I’m supposed to be dead. Oh, it’s my friend Sam. (she reads) “Pretty sure you’re not dead. Need to talk about girl who died. Something you need to know.”

She starts typing.

ALEXIS
Wait, what – what are you doing?

MANDY
Calling him.

ALEXIS
But you’re supposed to be laying low. No one’s supposed to know you’re alive.

MANDY
He already knows I’m alive.

ALEXIS
He thinks you’re alive. He may be trying to find out for sure. And what if it’s not Sam? It could be the killer trying to lure you out.

MANDY
Would you relax? It’s Sam’s number, okay? And he’s not answering, which means he’s probably bartending. That place he works is really loud. I have to go see him.

She stands.

ALEXIS
You can’t go out! What if someone sees you?

MANDY
You don’t get it, do you? I am the one that’s supposed to be dead. Not Claire. She dies because of me. And I know that people think that I don’t care, but I’m not a monster. If Sam has information about Claire’s death, I need to know what it is. I just want to do one thing right.

MANDY leaves. ALEXIS scrambles after her.

ALEXIS
Mandy … you shouldn’t be doing this.

MANDY
Yeah well, you’re not going to stop me.

ALEXIS
Okay, well, if you’re going to do it you can’t be recognized. Do you understand? You’re going to need someone to do all the talking for you.

MANDY
(sighs) C’mon.

ALEXIS follows her into the elevator. She puts on sunglasses and pulls up her hood. ALEXIS exhales slowly.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT is on the phone with RYAN and ESPOSITO.

BECKETT
Mandy’s gone? Gone where?

RYAN
We’re not sure. No one at the front desk saw her leave.

BECKETT
(sighs) Are there any signs of foul play?

ESPOSITO
No, it looks like she just took off.

RYAN
Maybe she picked up where she left off on that bender.

BECKETT
You guys gotta come back. We’ve gotta coordinate a search.

ESPOSITO
We’ll check with the limo company. Maybe she coordinated a pickup.

BECKETT
And I’ll talk to her mom, get a list of all the places she likes to go to. We have to find her before Jesse figures out that he killed the wrong person.

She turns around. MARILYN is right behind her.

MARILYN
What? What happened? Where’s Mandy?

BECKETT has no answer for her.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, NIGHTTIME

INT - CLUB

ALEXIS and MANDY walk down the stairs.

ALEXIS
(sighs) Are you sure I can’t talk you out of this?

MANDY
There he is. There’s Sam.

ALEXIS grabs her.

ALEXIS
Are you crazy? What are you doing? That’s what I’m here for. (smiles) Sam! (he looks, but he doesn’t acknowledge her) Hey Sam!

MANDY
That’s not going to get the job done your way. You might want to lose some layers. (she assesses ALEXIS) Take off grandma’s scarf.

ALEXIS
I have something else in mind. (she clears her throat and raises her voice) So, she was like ‘can you believe it?’ and I was like, ‘no –‘

She gestures wildly and knocks over the drink of the girl sitting behind her. It shatters.

ALEXIS
I am so sorry. Are you okay? (SAM comes over to clean things up) Oh, Sam, right? Can I please get her another drink? Oh and um… there’s someone here to see you.

She gestures to her side. MANDY slides her sunglasses down so he can see her eyes. She waves with a pinky.

SAM
Mandy? My god, girl, is that you?

MANDY gestures for him to be quiet.

ALEXIS
Can we talk somewhere more private?

SAM
Yeah. Um … (he looks around) … here. Meet me over there.

They follow him to a less crowded area of the bar.

SAM
Yo. I am so glad that you’re okay. You had me worried. I saw those pictures of you and Jesse, then the next thing you know everyone is saying you’re dead?

MANDY
What made you think I wasn’t?

SAM
That clip on the news? The one of the limo dropping you off at your building last night? Except that girl wasn’t you.

ALEXIS
How could you tell?

SAM
‘cause that same girl was in here last night wearing the same thing she had on when she got out of that limo.

MANDY
Wait a second. Claire was here last night?

SAM
Yeah, yeah. I think that’s what her name was.

ALEXIS
You talked to her?

SAM
Yeah, she came in asking for me. She heard I was friends with Mandy. She wanted her private number.

MANDY
What for?

SAM
She was trying to reach you because she thought someone was trying to hurt you.

MANDY
Who?

SAM
She didn’t say, but she got way mad when I wouldn’t give her your number. Man, I thought this girl was nuts. Like a crazy fan or something. Then she asked my how she can get in touch with Jesse.

MANDY
Jesse? What does he have to do with this?

SAM
I don’t know, but she was pretty hot to talk to him too, so I called Jesse and I put him on with her.

ALEXIS
What’d she say?

SAM
I didn’t here, but she was pretty upset. And since she ended up dead, I thought you should know.

GIRL 1
Hey Sam.

SAM looks over and laughs. He looks back to MANDY.

SAM
Hey uh … wait here a second. People getting thirst over there.

He leaves.

ALEXIS
I don’t get it. Did Claire know Jesse?

MANDY
I don’t know. I didn’t think she did. But there’s only one way to find out. I’m calling Jesse.

ALEXIS
Wait. He could be involved. And if Claire thought someone was trying to kill you, do you really think it’s a good idea to call –

GIRL 2
Anyone ever tell your friend she looks like Mandy Sutton?

ALEXIS
Yeah, she gets that all the time. It’s a shame what happened to Mandy, isn’t it?

ALEXIS tries to block their view, but they keep moving.

GIRL 2
Hey, that is Mandy. Oh my god. Mandy Sutton is alive.

A crowd gathers and people start taking photos. MANDY and ALEXIS are trapped.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT hangs up her phone.

BECKETT
There’s still no word on Jesse’s whereabouts.

ESPOSITO
Same with Mandy. But get this. When I called the limo company to see if she ordered up a ride from her hotel tonight, they said she didn’t. But I wasn’t the only guy asking that question.

BECKETT
Someone else called?

ESPOSITO
Yeah. Some guy that said he was with her management company. But I checked. No one there made that call.

BECKETT
Jesse.

ESPOSITO
Maybe he found out that she was still alive.

BECKETT
Looks like everyone just did.

She unmutes the TV.

NEWSCASTER
- that Mandy Sutton presumed dead may actually be alive. Mandy was reportedly just spotted at trendy downtown nightspot The Rapture Lounge.

BECKETT
And now he knows where to find her.

EXT – ALLEYWAY

JESSE is alone in his truck. His phone rings.

JESSE
Yeah? Where?

He starts his truck and drives away.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
We have to get her out of there.

ESPOSITO
Yeah. I’ll send a car to pick her up.

NEWSCASTER
And we have some footage from The Rapture Lounge shot just moments ago and posted by one of our viewers.

The video is of a scared MANDY and ALEXIS being mobbed.

RYAN
Uh … Castle, isn’t that –

CASTLE
Alexis. (concerned) Alexis? What is she doing there?

He pulls out his phone and calls her.

INT – CLUB

ALEXIS and MANDY push their way through the crowd. She doesn’t hear her phone ring.

ALEXIS
We have to get out of here. Uh … oh, this way. Come on!

ALEXIS and MANDY turn a corner and head for a back exit. The mob is stopped by security guards.

EXT – CLUB

They’re out.

ALEXIS
I’m going to call my dad.

MANDY
Let’s get out of here first.

The start walking away from the club. JESSE cuts off their escape route.

JESSE
Speak of the devil and she appears.

MANDY
I need to talk to you.

JESSE
Yeah, same here. Get in.

ALEXIS
I’m not so sure that’s a good idea.

He pulls a gun.

JESSE
Get in, both of you.

They gape at him.

EXT – ALLEYWAY

JESSE pulls up under a bridge.

JESSE
Get out.

They do.

JESSE
Get out, now! Get over here.

He waves the gun in their direction.

MANDY
(to ALEXIS) Sorry I dragged you into this.

JESSE
I want answers.

MANDY
Answers about what?

JESSE
Someone is messing with me and I know you’re involved somehow.

MANDY
I don’t know what you’re talking about.

JESSE
Don’t lie to me!

ALEXIS
Guys, let’s just calm down. Okay? I’m sure we can talk this out.

JESSE
Shut up.

He trains his gun on ALEXIS. She puts her hands up.

MANDY
Hey. Jesse, look at me. I made a mistake. If – if you thought whatever happened between us the other night meant that we were getting back together, I’m sorry, but that’s not what’s going to happen.

JESSE
You know that wasn’t you the other night in that photo!

MANDY
What?

ALEXIS
If it wasn’t her then who was it?

JESSE
It was that chick Claire. I got paid $25 grand to show up and suck face with her for a couple of minutes. You’re telling me that you really don’t know?

MANDY
No! I was messed up that night. I don’t remember anything. I don’t even remember getting messed up.

ALEXIS
Maybe you didn’t. Maybe someone drugged you so you wouldn’t remember.

MANDY
And then I – I would see the photos and assume that it was me? Jesse, how could you do that to me?

JESSE
This ain’t about you. Not anymore. What happened, Mandy? Huh? Who killed Claire?

MANDY
I don’t know. What do you care?

JESSE
I care because the cops are trying to pin it on me. (he paces) Someone must have seen me in the alley that night.

MANDY
Wait a minute. You were there? When Claire was killed?

JESSE
I had to talk to her. Now we was supposed to get another $25 grand for staging that photo if we kept our mouth shut when the story ran. Only b*tch got a conscious and felt bad about everything she had done. Especially because the pictures broke up you and whats-his-name. Zach. She just had to set things right.

ALEXIS
That’s why she was trying to get in touch with you last night.

JESSE
She called me and said she was going over to your place to tell you everything. Only that means I’m not going to get my money. So I go over there to talk her out of it. That’s it. And when I get there she’s dead.

ALEXIS
Jesse, if you didn’t kill Claire, then put the gun down. We can go to the police together and work this out, I promise –

JESSE
You’re trying to confuse me! You shut up before I do something –

He doesn’t get to finish. Police cars pull up with RYAN and ESPOSITO leading the way.

ESPOSITO
Put that gun down, Jesse!

RYAN
Show us your hands! Down, down!

RYAN and ESPOSITO work on cuffing JESSE. CASTLE runs out from behind them and when ALEXIS sees him, she runs to him.

ALEXIS
Dad.

CASTLE
Hey. (he hugs her) It’s okay. It’s over.

They pull apart. MANDY is by herself.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, MORNING

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT OBSERVAITON ROOM

JESSE is in the interrogation room, writing out his statement.

CASTLE
If Jesse’s story is true, then Claire was about to revel those photos were fake and someone killed her for it.

BECKETT
So maybe Claire Samuels was the intended target after all. If Jesse’s story is true. That’s a big if.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO
(on the phone) All right, Bill. (he hangs up) So Jesse was telling the truth about this much. He deposited $25 thousand, cash, into his bank account five days ago.

BECKETT
Any more on who paid him?

RYAN
No. He got a typewritten note telling him when to meet Claire at the bar and where to find the money at a dead drop.

CASTLE
Why would someone pay that much to stage a photo in the first place?

BECKETT
And what was so important about it that someone would kill Claire to keep it from being exposed as a fake?

CASTLE
I don’t know. But I can think of someone who might. Guys, did Jesse tell you where in the club the photo was taken?

ESPOSITO
Somewhere in the back, hidden from view. Couldn’t be any witnesses or the gag wouldn’t have worked.

BECKETT
So that photographer didn’t just happen to be there. He was in on it.

CASTLE
So who’s the photographer?

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

ESPOSITO
James Lockhart. How’re you doing? NYPD. We need to ask you a few questions, bro.

JAMES LOCKHART
Yeah, listen. Can you guys come back a little later?

RYAN
Excuse me?

JAMES
There’s an actress in this café, Reese Wellingford? I’ve been waiting an hour for her to come out.

He holds up his camera.

ESPOSITO
Listen, fool. This is a criminal investigation. Who paid you to take those photos you sold to Celeb Gazer?

RYAN
The ones with Jesse Jones and the girl who wasn’t Mandy Sutton.

JAMES
Nobody paid me.

ESPOSITO
Oh really? So you just ended up in that back room, in that bar, when those two hooked up.

JAMES
Yeah. (he’s not really paying attention) Just lucky, I guess. Here she is.

He starts to take photos. RYAN watches in horror, but ESPOSITO tries to block his shot.

ESPOSITO
Where? I don’t – is she – I don’t even see her. Am I in your way?

RYAN
Oh hey. There she is.

JAMES tries desperately to get his shot, but she gets into a cab and drives away.

RYAN
Oh … no. She got into a cab.

JAMES
All right, look. I got a tip, okay. They said show up at such and such time, go in the back. I got a few shots before security threw me out.

ESPOSITO
So who gave you that tip?

JAMES
I can’t tell you that.

ESPOSITO
I thought we were cool.

JAMES
Oh, c’mon. You think I’m going to rat out my sources? This is my livelihood.

ESPOSITO
Well how do you think your livelihood is going to go when me and my boy here are following you around all day?

JAMES sighs. RYAN nods with a smile.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN adds a photo of HARVEY to the murder board.

BECKETT
Harvey Stryker from CelebGazer.com tipped him off?

CASTLE
He didn’t just run that photo on Celeb Gazer, he set the whole thing up.

ESPOSITO
But why? Doesn’t this dirtbag have enough scandals to report on without having to make up his own?

CASTLE
Because it wasn’t just about the one scandal. For years Mandy has been drawing millions of eyeballs to Celeb Gazer with her public meltdowns, the drunken escapades, the uh … trips to rehab.

RYAN
Right. And in the past few months she calmed down, got her life back in order.

CASTLE
Because of Zach. Which was no good for business, so Harvey staged the photo, turns Mandy back into the train wreck that he grew to love and exploit.

ESPOSITO
And it worked, too, until Claire was going to ruin it all by calling the photo out as a hoax, destroying Harvey’s reputation.

CASTLE
And that’s why Harvey was at the apartment. He wasn’t waiting for Mandy. He was waiting for Claire. He was waiting to silence her.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTEROOGATION ROOM

HARVEY looks at the photo of MANDY and JESSE.

HARVEY
Fake? No, no, no, no. CelebGazer.com doesn’t do fake.

CASTLE
And yet you ran that one.

BECKETT
C’mon, Harvey. We know you set the whole thing up. You paid Jesse, then you paid Claire.

HARVEY
I didn’t pay anyone. And who is Claire?

CASTLE just stares at him.

BECKETT
The girl in the photo. The one that you killed right after she threatened to expose you?

HARVEY
Wait a minute. I had nothing to do with any of this.

BECKETT
So then how did you get that photo?

HARVEY
I bought it from a freelancer.

BECKETT
We spoke with him. He said that you sent him to that bar, which means you knew Claire and Jesse were there. How did you know?

HARVEY
The same way I always know. I was tipped.

BECKETT
You actually expect us to believe that?

HARVEY
It’s true. I swear. I remember exactly when it happened. They called my cell. I can show you.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO
Yo. That phone call Harvey got came from a burner phone paid for with cash.

BECKETT
So they were covering their tracks.

RYAN
Only they didn’t do a very good job of it. They forgot to disable the GPS.

ESPOSITO
We were able to track the GPS data. That phone was in the alley behind Mandy’s building the night of the murder.

CASTLE
So then whoever bought that phone is our killer.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

BECKETT walks into the room. MANDY and MARILYN are waiting for her.

BECKETT
Thank you for coming in. We uh, we just wanted to keep you up to date on the investigation.

MANDY
So there’s been a new development?

BECKETT
Yes. We have a lead. We’ve identified the cellphone of the person that set up that fake photo. And we believe the same person killed Claire Samuels.

MANDY
Who is it?

CASTLE
Well actually, it was a burner phone.

MARILYN
A burner phone? (shrugs) So it’s not traceable.

CASTLE
Normally, it wouldn’t be. But the person who bought this phone made one crucial mistake. They didn’t get rid of it when they were done. Matter of fact, it’s still on right now.

BECKETT uses her phone to dial a number. There’s a ringing in the room. It doesn’t stop.

MANDY
Mom?

CASTLE and BECKETT are silent. They let the ringing phone do the talking.

MANDY
Mom? You set up that photo? (MARILYN is silent, too) You did this to me. Why would you do that? Why do you want to ruin my life?

MARILYN
It was Zach who was ruining your life. I was saving you.

MANDY stands.

MANDY
Wait a minute. Wait. You did this to break me up with Zach? He was the best thing that ever happened to me. He was going to take me away from all of this.

MARILYN
That’s right. Away from everything we’d worked for. Your tour. Your career. He was going to cost you missions.

MANDY
You mean cost you millions.

MARILYN
And for what?

MANDY
A chance to be normal?

MARILYN
(scoffs) Normal. Your special. Zach didn’t understand that. And neither did Claire.

MANDY
So you killed her?

MARILYN
She was going to tell you what I’d done. She was going to make you hate me. And I couldn’t let her drive a wedge between us. I couldn’t.

MANDY is disgusted.

BECKETT
Marilyn Sutton, please stand up.

She does without a fight.

BECKETT
Turn around. You’re under arrest for the murder of Claire Samuels.

BECKETT handcuffs MARILYN.

MARILYN
Mandy, sweetie, you understand, right? I did this for you, Mandy. Everything I did I did for you.

MANDY
No, Mom. You did it for you.

BECKETT
Let’s go.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, DAYTIME

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

MANDY
Just when I thought life couldn’t get any more messed up, right? And the train wreck continues. The press is going to love this. (she tries not to cry) Sorry. I’m going to go. Thank you.

CASTLE
Um -

CASTLE moves to follow after her.

CASTLE
Hey, Mandy, sorry. Not to pry, but uh … it would be really easy just to run and hide form all this. But don’t.

MANDY
(nods) Thanks. (she takes a breath) Thank you for all you guys did. Um … could you thank Alexis for me too, please?

CASTLE
I will. She was … here, actually. I don’t know where she went. There’s – (he notices something over her shoulder)- oh.

The elevator dings and ALEXIS and ZACH start walking toward them.

ALEXIS
I’m back. And I’ve brought someone with me.

ZACH
Hey Mandy.

MANDY
Zach?

She goes to him and they hug. CASTLE gives her an incredulous look.

ALEXIS
Once we realized Mandy hadn’t really cheated on him, I tracked him down. I thought he needed to know.

MANDY and ZACH leave hand in hand.

CASTLE
Good. I hope it works out for them. Mandy needs something good in her life.

ALEXIS
They’ve got a shot. They seem to really love each other for all the right reasons.

CASTLE reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out an envelope.

CASTLE
Oh. Speaking of boyfriends, Pi’s letter of recommendation.

CASTLE just stares at the paper. She’s less enthusiastic than he thought she’d been.

CASTLE
He did get the extension, right?

ALEXIS
No, he did.

CASTLE
Good. How did I spell Pi? Did I put it like the dessert? Because I was just –

ALEXIS
No, Dad. You got it right.

CASTLE
Okay.

He laughs and she sighs.

ALEXIS
I’m just not sure I did.

She gives him a strained smile. She turns to leave before he can ask.

CASTLE
Where – where’re you off to?

ALEXIS
There’s something I need to do.

She smiles and gives him a little wave. He waves back and watches her go.

ESPOSITO
Hey Castle. Looks like your love life made the paper again.

BECKETT, RYAN, and ESPOSITO are sitting on a desk reading through a newspaper.

CASTLE
Ah .. what? All right, all right. Who am I hooking up with now?

RYAN
(reading) “Novelist Richard Castle and New York Police Detective Katherine Beckett, both native New Yorkers, are pleased to announce their engagement.”

BECKETT gives him a look. His eyes widen and he starts to panic.

CASTLE
No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. (he takes the paper from RYAN) I didn’t – I didn’t – I didn’t do this.

He looks to BECKETT in horror. She can’t hide her smile and she raises a finger.

BECKETT
Actually, I did.

RYAN and ESPOSITO look at her, too. CASTLE looks from her to the paper and back to her.

CASTLE
I thought you –

BECKETT
I know, I know, Castle. I like my privacy. But I do realize that you’re somewhat famous.

CASTLE
Somewhat?

RYAN and ESPOSITO tease him with a “tiny bit” gesture.

BECKETT
Yes. And if we’re going to be together I have to come to terms with that. And if they are going to write about you, I want it to be the truth. I want it to be about us.

She grabs him and pulls his hands around her waist. She raises up so she’s eyelevel with him and throws her hands over his shoulders.

CASTLE
Well, there’s no one that –

He stops when RYAN and ESPOSITO show up to ruin their moment with their grins. At their looks, RYAN and ESPOSITO leave.

CASTLE
- there’s no one I’d rather share a headline with. But just for the interest of accuracy … (he grabs the paper) … does this say we’re getting married in space?

BECKETT
(smiles) No. It’s not going to happen, babe.

She walks away.

CASTLE
It’d be pretty fun. (he looks around but no one is there) Space.

THE END

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