The Cop's Whiskers

Chapter 8

"Hey, what are you three doing?!" she got out in a half-strangled whisper. All three men, still on hands and knees turned their head to look at her "Flashing your asses at the boss?"

For a moment they looked like see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil as Ryan squeezed his eyes shut, Espo slapped a hand to the side of his face and Castle bit on his knuckle, she was hard pressed not to burst out laughing.

All three quickly stood up, brushing invisible dust off their knees and trying not to look over their shoulders. "Is Guppy Gates still in the fish tank?" whispers Castle at which the other three almost double up in laughter, Kate desperately turning to the murder board to hide her face.

"There you are!" she said and crooked a finger at the others. They all crowded round her desk and leant over to look. Standing three-legged at one of the murder board's feet, trying to scratch the floor over a small puddle is Spitfire. They all look at each other and grin before guiltily glancing at Gate's office.

"I'll get some paper" says Castle heading to the break room, whilst Kate picks Spitfire up returning her to her drawer and the two boys head back to their desks. Rick's back a few moments later with some kitchen paper and wipes up the little puddle before dumping the ball of paper in the bin. "Well waterworks are functioning anyway!"

Kate nodded, her fingernails scratching around Spitfire's ears and causing a steady rumbling purr to emanate from the drawer. Her phone went, Perlmutter on the other end, she needed to go see what the ME's found and she wants Rick with her (she loves how the two men get on each other's wick), so after a glance towards the Captain's office she scooped the kitten up, carried her over to the boys' desks and settled her next to Ryan's keyboard.

The Irishman glanced up from the file he was reading, smiling as he saw Spitfire, ears pointed forwards, staring at him from the desk top.

He dropped the file into his lap and scooped the kitten up, cradling her upside down in one hand whilst the other tickled her tummy. Spitfire grabbed at his fingers with her paws, trying to bite his thumb in the process. From a couple of feet away Espo threw a disgusted look at his partner, shook his head and turned back to typing up his notes.

"Ok Castle, let's go see what Perlmutter's found, then we can come back to cuddle" she hid her grin at the startled look all three men threw her way and with raised eyebrows and a mock Beckett Glare she pointed at the kitten. There's an apologetic look from Rick, a red faced one from Kevin and a yuck! one from Javi. Kate had a tough time not laughing as she headed for the lift, Rick trailing behind her.

They were away for the best part of an hour as the ME gave her a more detailed report on his findings, including the partial print on the metallic catch of the purse found in the alley. It was being run through the system right then and she'd be informed the moment a match came up.

They got back to the precinct and just as Castle was about to walk into the lift she caught his sleeve and nodded her head at the stairs. He looked at her, puzzled, but seeing her wink at him decided to follow her up. As they reached the homicide floor she put her finger to her lips and signalled him to follow her quietly.

They poked their heads round the corner and both had to grin at the scene before them. Ryan was sitting there, feet up on an opened drawer giggling and telling Javi he was mean. Espo was at his desk, moving the pointer of the mouse around the screen whilst Spitfire, crouched just in front of it kept springing up and trying to catch the pointer with her paws. Every now and again both cops would glance towards the Captain's office to make sure she wasn't around.

"So, what have you got for me boys?" said Kate as she strode out into the bullpen, Castle in close attendance and a look of glee on his face. There was a startled yelp from Ryan as he tried to straighten up, getting his feet tangled in the drawer and nearly falling out his chair in the process.

Espo looked around guiltily, scooped Spitfire off the desk and shoved her unceremoniously into Ryan's lap, some weird concept about getting rid of the cookie making him look less guilty foremost in his mind. The fact that he had clearly been caught playing with the kitten making plausible deniability a non-started had yet to filter through his brain.

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