The Cop's Whiskers

Chapter 7

They'd cleared the table, binned the empty boxes and tubs of food and headed back out to the bull pen. Castle waited till Kate had her bottom drawer open, cloth in place and had checked that Gates wasn't on the prowl. As soon as he got the nod, he picked Spitfire out of the box and carried her over to the desk.

As soon as she found herself back on her cloth, Spitfire settled down, and after Kate had made sure, several times, that she was ok, they got back to the murder board and theory building. CCTV footage showed an individual in a hoodie in the area at the estimated time of Maria's murder and they were waiting for the arrival of one of her work colleagues who had finished his shift at the same time. Hopefully he would be able to shed some light on what had happened.

An hour and a half later and they had a possible lead. Karl Abrahams, had noticed a guy in similar getup to the one on CCTV waiting at his bus stop just west of the hotel. The guy had walked off in the same direction as Maria, and though he hadn't though anything of it at the time, he had got a look at him. He was presently sitting with the tech working on the facial composites software.

If they could get a decent enough composite then Ryan and Espo could canvas the local businesses, see if they could fi ….

"Detective Beckett!" The bellow … it could hardly be described as anything less … spun all four of them round to stare at the Captain's office. Eyebrows raised they glanced at each other and then suddenly all had the same idea. As if controlled by the same puppeteer, all four turned to look at the half-opened drawer of Beckett's desk … with a gasp she bent down and pulled the drawer fully open … nothing, no fur ball!

With a gulp she turned to the three men and in a loud whisper "Find her!" before squaring her shoulders and heading for the Captain's office. With trepidation she knocked on the door and pushed it open. Captain Victoria 'Iron' Gates was standing talking on the phone. As Kate entered she signalled her to close the door and continues talking to whoever it was on the other end. Kate discreetly looked around the office, edging herself towards the corner of the desk and leaning slightly sideways in search of a mobile ball of fur .. nothing. She suddenly became aware of Gate's raised eyebrows and hastily adopted the proper stance, 'wooden-faced Beckett' at her best.

Eventually Gates finished her conversation, which had from Kate's end been just a series of 'Yeses', 'Nos' and 'Uhums'. As soon as the phone hit the cradle the Captain pointed to it and said "The DA testing the political waters" and the look on her face spoke volumes about her opinion on said matter. "What I am interested in is what progre…" She came to a standstill as she stared, eyes the size of saucers out the window towards the bullpen.

Kate, with a sinking feeling spun round to see what had drawn her boss' attention and almost giggled at the sight.

Castle, Espo and Ryan were all kneeling on the floor, heads down, looking under the desks obviously still in search of Spitfire … unfortunately, though they were each looking under a different desk, they were all three facing the same way, with the result that three male bums were all aimed in the Captain's direction. Kate had to make a real effort not to twist her head sideways and start comparing!

"Detective, I am pretty sure Detective Esposito has not become a Muslim, I know Detective Ryan is Catholic and I would bet my pension Mr Castle would not be allowed within a hundred yards of a Mosque … just what the hell is going on out there?"

"Uhm .. I think Castle dropped his phone and I assume the others are helping him look for it .." she managed to get out without too much hesitation. God! Castle was rubbing off on her too much!

"Well tell them NYPD does not pay them to search for lost phones … unless it involves a murder, and trust me, right now there just might be one!" she said glaring out at the three bums that had slowly inched their way forwards, though still unfortunately offering themselves for inspection.

"Yes Captain, I'll just go … tell them to .. uhm … stop" pointing with her thumb over her shoulder and backing out.

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