ROLE REVERSAL

BAIT

Kate Beckett feels like hell, or to be more precise, she feels as if she's just completed a major workout. Every muscle in her body aches, her head hurts and as awareness percolates through her being, she feels the dull pain emanating from the upper part of her back.

She shakes her head, tries clearing the insidious cobwebs wrapped around her mind …. winces …. 'cos shaking her head maybe wasn't such a bright idea. She licks her lips, feels the thirst that is making her mouth dry and her throat feel like sandpaper whenever she swallows.

Kate recognises the symptoms, she's been tasered, someone has fricking well used a taser on her. She tries moving … realises that the reason she can't wipe her face is that her hands are tied … well taped to be more precise as her eyes adjust to the gloom … duct taped to the arms of a chair.

A brief struggle and she realises her ankles are also taped, probably to the feet of the chair, though the position feels strange.

She raises her head, licks her lips … not much moisture there … and looks around her. She seems to be in some metal cabin or container, though her eyes aren't yet fully focused, the gloom making her squint as she tries to make out her surroundings.

Before her is a rusted metal console of some type, empty holes and spaces where she guesses gauges, buttons and levers would have once nestled. Above the console are what would appear to be largish window gaps, though these are presently covered from the outside with what look like plywood sheeting.

She strains her hearing …. listens for any sound which might indicate her whereabouts .… all she can hear is a distant, not quite regular, metallic clanking, too far away to be of immediate significance. She tries turning her head, looking at the space around her. To left and right, her cell is similar, rusted metal to above waist height, large empty holes above covered in plywood sheets.

Floor and ceiling are also metallic, rusted rivet heads forming large squares across the surfaces. This looked suspiciously like a scene from one of those movies about long abandoned ships … though she knows nothing about ships, boats … whatever.

She's feeling cold all of a sudden, realises her thin shirt and slacks are not going to be of much help if it gets any colder. She shivers slightly … unsure if it's just from the cold or not …

Time passes, her body still feels overworked, her muscles still aching, though her head has cleared a little. The sudden scrape of sliding metal locks and bolts behind her warns her of a change in status ….

Apprehension charges her senses, sharpens her hearing as she tries desperately to anticipate … there is a metallic slamming followed by a loud click as a gust of cold air hits her from behind. For a moment there is silence … she tries to look behind her but can't see … the sound of soft-soled shoes on metal … a dark shape looms behind her shoulder in the gloom and …. suddenly she is whisked around as the chair she is taped to is spun.

The figure before her traces a gloved hand along her jaw …. She tries to pull her head back, away from the creep's hand … the silence between them is oppressive to Kate … but she refuses to be the first to speak …. then the hand is suddenly grabbing her chin forcing her face up as he leans closer in … the face takes on substance, shape, definition ….. she gasps, cannot help herself … "Tyson!"

"Well Detective, nice to meet up with you again … I've been looking forwards to this moment you know …. for some time now"

His hand scoots down, grabs her neck, his thumb moving to her windpipe … she doesn't get a chance to take a breath, his fingers tighten, apply more and more pressure … she tries to breathe … tries desperately to free her hands, to kick out … anything to ease the pressure on her throat … her lungs begin to burn, block spots flickered before her eyes ….

Suddenly he releases her … her gasping breath grating down her already irritated throat is almost painful …. but it is ok, she can breathe … cough …. life-preserving air filling her lungs, another lease of life … another chance ..

Eventually she is able to calm her breathing … her throat hurts … just one more discomfort to deal with, but she can handle that …. she lifts her head, finds him holding a water bottle out … she moves her head back, away from the proffered, clear liquid …

"It's ok Detective, just water, if I wanted to kill you this early on I'd have already done it ... I need you alive, just a bit longer at any rate .." the laugh vibrating round the metal room hits her like body blows ….. the significance of the phrasing not lost to her, and Beckett-like she grasps the opportunity, the chance to turn the tables, to prolong the chance of survival, she moves her head towards the bottle, allows her mouth to open, feels the glorious taste of water running down her throat, down her chin, her neck … lets the liquid calm the burning inside …. chokes as too much goes down … as some enters her air ducts and threatens to start her retching … he pulls the bottle back … outwaits her coughing … lets her breathing settle down again … offers her the remaining water.

He caps the now empty bottle, carefully places it in a trouser pouch, spins the chair round again so that she is facing the console as before and steps away. She hears the slide of the lock on the door behind her … feels the quiet settle in this, her cell, once more.

Tyson! God Castle, please stay away … don't do what he asks of you, please … play safe, don't listen to him, take Alexis and Martha, go to California, Europe … anywhere … just get away, don't let him reach you! … like a chant the words run through her mind as tears flow and a growing sense of fear builds in the pit of her stomach.

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