The Homicide floor is a noisy cacophony of phones, machinery and conversation as Castle steps out of the lift and looks around. Spotting Ryan over by the murder board he grins and walks over to him. "Hey Ryan, how's things?"
"Hey Castle, what brings you to Homicide again, need someone to drive your Ferrari?" answers the small Detective as he shakes Castle's hand.
"Yeah, like a toothache Kevin, you got a moment?"
Just then the door to the Captain's office opens and Esposito appears, closing the door behind him. He's surprised to see Castle there but grins as he approaches "Yo Castle! What's new?"
"Morning Espo, just came in to see if you guys have a minute to spare .. anything heavy going down?"
Detective Esposito shakes his head, waving his hand at the murder board which shows a female vic lying in a pool of blood on an expensive looking carpet along with a couple of photos under the headings of Witnesses and none under Suspects. There's a couple of subway tickets, scanned documents which appear to be handwritten notes and a number of photos from the crime scene which looks very much like a hotel room.
"Waiting on Tox and lab reports … maybe you want to lend a hand?" he jokes
"Another time guys, I was just wondering, uhm … I've been doing some research for the new book and along the way heard about an old case which would kind of fit into my story, I didn't get much about it and thought maybe you guys could let me have a peek?"
Both cops look at him with raised eyebrows and Ryan butts in with "You think we're your personal researchers or something Castle?"
He grins at them and says "Yes?"
Espo shakes his head in disgust then checks to see that the Captain's door is still closed. "Not promising anything man, but who's the vic?"
"Rico Cambrea" says Castle
Both cops look at him in astonishment, "You looking into the Cambreas?"
"No, no! I was looking into big-time robberies and someone happened to mention something about Rico Cambrea getting wasted and about the MO being similar to another case … I was just curious"
"Well I'd keep well away from the Cambreas if I were you, and you really need to check with Gangs if you want info on them … that is if they even let you onto their floor" Ryan grins.
"It was a homicide, I thought maybe you could give me the Investigating Officer's name and I could maybe go talk to him?"
Both Detectives know Castle is just trying to wheedle the information out of them but until they get the reports back from the Labs or the Morgue there's not much they can do without wasting time and stepping on toes, so Ryan sits down at his desk, pulls up the database and types in Cambrea, Rico …
Espo and Rick crowd round behind him until a look from both cops has Castle sheepishly moving back round to the front of the desk. He realises it's one thing for the Captain to walk out and find the two cops looking at the computer with Castle round in front of them, something else if he sees all three looking at the screen … he has to remember that he no longer forms part of the team as he did for a number of weeks last year.
"Cambrea, Rico, died September third, two thousand two … age twenty five … got a rap sheet as long as your arm … investigating Detective, John Raglan, suspected he was killed in a drug deal gone wrong, multiple stab wounds including one lethal one to the kidneys … several suspects … all alibied out … no conviction … case went nowhere, shelved … January, two thousand three" Ryan finishes reading and turns to Espo, "How come we haven't come across this before?" he asks, puzzled.
Detective Esposito shook his head, "Maybe Gangs looked into it?"
"You guys look at cold cases?" Rick asks, mentally keeping tag of all the information Ryan had read out.
Espo nods, "Anytime we don't have a case on, we go take a look at the unsolved ones … to be honest we don't have much time, New York's citizens keep us pretty busy as it is … but two oh two is still pretty fresh where cold cases are concerned and as Ryan says, I'm surprised we haven't come across it before, must have just got buried in amongst the others"
"You couldn't look to see if there were any similar cases … using the same MO … around that time could you?" asks Castle.
Both cops stare up at him, Ryan from where he's sitting behind the computer screen, Espo from where he's leaning down at Ryan's shoulder, one hand on the desk the other on the back of Ryan's chair. Both looks are full of suspicion and intrigue, the two cops remembering how some of Castle's off-the-wall ideas had actually panned out during his time with them. Castle tries to keep his face from showing anything but curiosity …
The two Detectives look at each other, then glance at the Captain's door, then turn back to the computer. Ryan goes back to the database query form and fills in the MO, hits search and sits back to wait for results. Castle is finding it difficult to stand still, his instinct to crowd round the screen while waiting for the information, but the constant looks he's getting from the two Detectives as their eyes flicker from the screen to him and back to the screen again not only make him even more nervous, they also tell him its best to just stay where he is for the moment.
There's a discreet ping and both Detectives lean forward, staring at the screen. Ryan clicks the mouse a number of times, drags it around as he repositions windows on the screen and then both cops are staring up at him, brows furrowed, eyes not too friendly.
"What ..? " he stutters as he takes in their looks.
"What do you know Castle?"
"Wha … nothing, honestly, I … I heard about the Rico murder, it sounded weird enough to fit into one of my stories …" he comes to a stop as they continue to stare at him "Why?"
Espo taps Ryan's shoulder, stands up straight and heads for the Captain's office. Castle surreptitiously checks his watch, worried about the time. "Got somewhere you'd rather be Castle?" asks Ryan.
"I'm meeting someone in about thirty minutes, I'll have to leave here in ten if I don't want to be late"
"You can leave any time Castle, you don't need to hang around"
"You kidding? Something's obviously popped or you two wouldn't be giving me the hard looks!"
Ryan smothers a grin, the time Castle had spent with them had not only shown him to be pretty intuitive where the whacky cases were concerned, he'd also been like an over-enthusiastic kid at times.
Espo returns with Captain Montgomery trailing behind him. The Captain shows no surprise at seeing Castle there, obviously already informed of his presence by Esposito. Montgomery has no problem with Castle's presence, shaking hands with the writer and clapping him on the back. Not only is he well aware of Rick's relationship with the Mayor and the positive publicity not only the Twelfth, but the NYPD as a whole had received from Castle's book, but he's also a regular at the Gotham City Group's poker nights, rubbing shoulders with the Mayor, Judge Markaway and Rick himself.
Joining his Detectives by the computer screen he looks at the information pulled up by Ryan's casual query. Looking up at Castle he raises his eyebrows, "You know anything about this Castle?" The informality of calling him Rick is kept for their poker nights.
"About what Captain? All I'm getting are weird looks and I don't even know why!"
"Two other cases with a similar MO, one in nineteen ninety nine, the other in two thousand five, the guys at 32nd handled the ninety nine case and the two oh five one is with the 19th Precinct "
"That's … That's one every three years? A serial killer?" Castle desperately wants to know if the 1999 victim is called Beckett, but right now he's better to keep that to himself. His comment however has all three cops exchanging worried looks.