Rick's having trouble keeping still. He watches the hands crawl round the face of the clock on the wall, the solid electronic toc …. toc …. toc of the passing seconds something he hadn't noticed before … today it's like a metronome which invades his very space. He glances down at the document in his lap for the umpteenth time that morning, and still he hasn't really taken in a single word.
His ears pick out the ping of the elevator as it reaches their floor and though he can't see it from here he's stretching his neck to try and see the bullpen through the slatted blinds. He can make out a uniform heading their way and it's all he can do to keep his ass on the chair, the overwhelming need to stand up and head out to the pen having to be sharply controlled. He doesn't miss the curious look from Ryan as the detective notices his edginess, but hopes the Irishman will just put it down to frustration at the lack of clues from the autopsy reports.
They'd separated the knifing cases from the shootings, the broken necks and the floaters … but all seven knifing autopsy reports had been brief and unhelpful. Espo, though just as frustrated as Castle, had been fatalistic; given the number of corpses the turf war had thrown the ME office's way at the time he'd said, the lack of detail was hardly surprising. Two had been put aside as possible matches given the multiple stab wounds, but with exhumation being pointless after all this time, they had no real hope of confirming the match.
The uniform knocks, pushes open the door and sticks his head in to say they have visitors. Castle is first to the door, stepping aside only when he gets the raised eyebrow from Espo and waits impatiently for the two detectives to leave the room ahead of him.
They walk across the pen towards their visitors, the tall, slim woman in boots and knee length red coat watches them approach, eyes flickering from the two detectives to the writer almost tripping on their heels. He doesn't miss the flash of amusement before she returns her eyes to the lead detective who's now reaching out to shake her hand.
Rick takes a moment to study the man standing next to her. Tall and slim, like his daughter, Jim Beckett has fine delicate features which Castle likes immediately. There's sadness to the eyes and a certain wariness to the expression, but Rick can see where Kate gets some of her looks from.
"…. is Mr Castle, who is consulting on the case".
It's a moment before Espo's words register and suddenly he's turning back to her, hastily making a grab for the hand she's been holding out in his direction for several seconds and mumbling a somewhat apologetic "Hello! Nice to meet you …."
Despite her expressionless face, there's a definite sparkle of laughter in her eyes as they shake and it takes all his will not to pull her in for a hug.
"As and when you let my daughter have her hand back …" and Rick can't help colouring up to his ears as he realizes that not only is he still holding onto her hand but that her father has his outstretched.
Hastily dropping Kate's hand as if he's been burnt, Rick turns to her father and trying to keep the embarrassment off his face shakes the older man's hand. Unfortunately, he catches the speculative look Jim Beckett throws from him to his daughter and back again. He knows she'd told him her father hadn't made the connection … whatever that was supposed to mean … but right now he thinks they've been busted … he just hopes the two detectives haven't caught on and quickly takes a step back, not missing the look of amusement on both cops' faces.
Espo then takes Jim Beckett's arm and says "We'd like to talk to you separately if you don't mind sir, Detective Ryan will interview your daughter, it's just a question of going through your original declarations and seeing if either of you have remembered anything new …" the last almost a question.
"Castle …" and this time the lead detective is looking at him with a hint of amusement, "… maybe you'd like to join me …" and then relenting as the writer plasters on a brave face adds "… or you can sit in on the interview with Detective Ryan"
Releasing an almost audible sigh, Rick points over his shoulder and manages a rather less than elegant "I'll … uhm … I'll go join Kevin … uhm Detective Ryan ..." hastily heading after the Irishman and Kate.
Entering the room he heads for one of the two chairs on the mirrored side of the room and watches as Kate takes one of the chairs opposite, loosens her coat and crosses her hands on the table. Ryan removes his jacket, slings it over the back of his chair and drops a folder on the table before sitting down. Rick stretches out a foot, carefully and stops when he feels it bump against her boot. Her eyes flicker to him but give nothing away and he carefully pulls his foot back slightly.
Ryan opens the folder, glances through the few pages it contains, pushes the button that turns the recorder on in the room behind the mirror and then looks across at Kate, his warm, boyish smile in place. "Ok, Miss Beckett, as we mentioned when we contacted you last week, we're re-investigating several cases which we believe may be related, and one of those is your mother's … I'm sorry to have to make you go through it all again, however we're hoping you may have remembered something or may have something to add which could help us".
Kate looks across at the detective and gives a slight shrug, "Anything that can help to catch her killer, though I'm not sure that I can add anything new" and then she's throwing a quick glance at the writer. He has to stop himself glancing down as he feels her foot come into contact with his again … this time he doesn't move his foot away.
Nodding to her, Ryan spreads out a couple of sheets of paper and continues, "Miss Beckett, would you mind telling me again, in your own words, what you can remember of the night your mother was killed?"
They watch as she closes her eyes, watch as her right hand comes up to her chest and her fingers grip something through the wool of her top. Her voice is firm, calm as she tells of the evening she and her father waited in vain at the restaurant, of the Detective waiting for them when they got home, of the days that followed waiting for news or a breakthrough.
"Did Detective Raglan get in touch with you or your father at any time during the following months to inform you of any progress?"
"Progress?" and there is a note of disdain, almost, but not quite a sneer to her voice "The only time I heard anything from Detective Raglan was when I camped at his desk … and even then he had little or nothing to say!"
Ryan glances at Castle, observes the almost stony expression on the writer's face and wonders why he's not throwing questions at the witness as he normally does. Almost as if on cue, the writer leans forward and asks "K … Miss Beckett, your mother was an attorney, did she leave any notes, did you find anything amongst her papers which might give a clue as to why someone would want to kill her?"
The pressure from his foot helps to keep her grounded, though the surprise at the question, at his seemingly imparting her secrets, makes her throw a startled look at him. No less surprised is Ryan whose eyebrows shoot up at the question and who quickly turns his head to look at the woman across the table.
After a slight hesitation, she nods her head and explains about her mother's activities in the Heights, the problems families were having with the housing, the upsurge in crime, the threats and violence those helping at the Community Center had suffered along with the buying up buildings by mysterious holding companies.
"And did she find out who owned those shell companies?" Asks the detective
Kate shakes her head, "All three were registered in the Cayman Islands … as far as I know, she didn't find out anything else …."
"You wouldn't happen to have the names of those companies?"
Kate shakes her head, "She must have known them to be able to trace them to the Caymans, but I never found any other reference to them …" shrugging slightly.
Again Castle leans forward, a small smile on his face, his foot still firmly against hers. "Miss Beckett, you must have thought hard about this over the years … do you have any ideas, any clues as to who would have profited from this terrible deed?"
Again she looks at him, only this time she realizes why he's aiming these particular questions at her, he wants her to feed the detective with her … their theories …. point them in a certain direction, maybe directions he can't point them himself.
"Only two I can think of …. one is Vulcan Simmons, the other is … Westland Enterprises"
Ryan sits forward at that, his own surprise making him miss the slight smile around Castle's mouth as the writer leans back. "What makes you say that Miss Beckett?"
Kate looks at him, squeezes her foot lightly against the writer's and says "Westland Enterprises somehow acquired all the property in the area that those three holding companies bought, and either converted them or knocked them down and built expensive offices or residentials. Strangely enough, at the same time, crime suddenly plummets and Vulcan Simmons opens expensive clubs in those same areas …" pausing a moment she looks at the detective then shrugs, "… walks like a duck, looks like a duck …"