To Castle's disappointment, the crime scene turned out to be just another boring alleyway in an equally boring industrial district. He'd opted to skip the premiere for the new James Bond movie because of the promise of a gruesomely mutilated dead body, but he was already beginning to regret his choice.
When they reached the yellow tape barrier, they were stopped by a man who flashed his badge and introduced himself as Agent Kimball Cho from the FBI. Agent Cho had that certain, almost robotic man-in-black quality that fired up Castle's imagination again. He could easily imagine Agent Cho as the enforcer of some secret government organization that worked to keep the people from learning the truth. The truth about what, that Castle didn't know. Hopefully aliens.
Beckett flashed her badge at Cho with a confident flourish that made Castle feel slightly aroused.
"NYPD. We're here because of Doctor Decker."
"The FBI is handling the case. It's a matter of national security."
"This is my turf, Agent Cho. We have jurisdiction here."
Leaving Beckett arguing with Agent Cho, Castle took out his phone and chose a number.
"Hey, Andy, Rick Castle here. Look, Beckett and I are at a crime scene that we want to check out, but there's an FBI agent who needs a bit of persuading to let up through." He handed the phone to Agent Cho. "The Governor wants to have a word with you."
To Castle's disappointment, Cho didn't seem to be the least bit impressed. He took the phone.
"Yes sir. No sir. Of course. Have a nice day."
He ended the call handed the phone back to Castle.
"Okay, you can see the body but I still need to check it with my superior. I'll need your names, Detective Beckett and...?"
Agent Cho looked up from his pad. "Richard Castle? The writer?"
"Is that a problem?" Beckett asked.
Cho's expression didn't change. "No, I'll just put you down as a consultant." He put the pad away. "Wait here," he said, and walked away.
Castle turned to Beckett, unable to contain his excitement. "A body with its eyes gouged out and he was working for some secret government agency? Ooh, maybe the reason why his eyes were gouged out was because he had bionic eyes!"
Disappointingly, Beckett didn't seem to share his enthusiams. He suspected that she probably wasn't going to be in the mood for a post-crime scene quickie either.
They waited for a few more minutes before Cho returned.
"I cleared you with the senior agent in charge. You can have a look at the body when we're done with it."
Cho lead them down the corridor to near the dumpsters where the body was. A man was kneeling over the body, leaning over it as if trying to get as close as possible without actually touching it. Castle recognised him immediately.
"This keeps getting better and better," he whispered to Beckett. "Do you know who that guy is?"
Becket shook her head.
"That's Patrick Jane! The Patrick Jane."
Beckett just stared at him.
"He's the psychic who killed Red John! I've always wanted to meet him."
Beckett rolled her eyes. "Castle, there's no such thing as psychics."
"That's what you think. Didn't you hear about it? It was all over the news when it happened. I was thinking of using it as a plot for a book, you know, a psychic detective helping the police with their investigation. It would make a great book." He paused, thinking it over. "Or even a TV-show. You could call it... 'The Medium'! No, that doesn't sound good. 'Jane'? No, that sounds more like a show about a 30-something single woman in New York looking for true love. Ooh, ooh, I've got it: 'Don't Lie to Me'. It could- Beckett?"
When he turned to Beckett again, he found that she and Agent Cho were already standing by the body. He quickly ran after them.
"Jane, you finished?" Cho asked.
Jane stood up, wiping his hands against the pants of his legs. "No, I'm just doing this to entertain myself, because I just can't get enough of dead bodies." He rolled his eyes. "Only a ghoul would actually like looking at bodies." His eyes met with Castle's, and he nodded. "You know, like him."
Jane sauntered towards them, grinning. "There are only two kinds of people who are that obsessed with killing people: mystery writers and serial killers. Isn't that right, Mr. Castle?"
Castle felt his jaw drop. "Wow. That was uncanny." He elbowed Beckett. "I told you he was a psychic."
Jane smiled. "There's no such thing as psychics, Mr. Castle. I recognised you from the photo on your book jacket."
Castle's disappointment with jane's lack of psychic powers fought with the ego-stroking of being recognised. "Oh, so you're a fan?"
Jane shook his head. "No, I don't really care for murder mysteries. But when your reading material is limited to whatever books American tourists leave behind at the hotel, you can't be too choosy. From the way that the spine was creased on that particular book, I'm thinking they never got even past the second chapter."
"Which one was it? Was it the fourth Derrick Storm novel? I knew I should have left out in the prologue even though my editor insisted that the readers would be turned off by a medias res beginning."
One of the CSI techs investigating the scene called out, and both Beckett and Cho headed towards her. When they were outside the hearing range, Jane turned to Castle.
"You know, Cho on the other hand is a huge fan. I'm sure he'd love to have your autograph, but he's too shy to ask," he said, and then just smiled, and stepped behind a tall pile of boxes, to look for more clues, Castle assumed.
When he noticed that Cho was coming back, Castle took out one of the glossy photos of himself he always carried with him in just in case.
"Would you like to have my autograph, Agent Cho, he asked?"
Cho just stared at him. "Did Jane tell you that?"
"Figures," he said, and turned back, leaving Castle alone again. A few seconds later Jane appeared from behind the boxes. He saunted back to the body, kneeling down again to study it closer.
"Can I ask you a question?," Castle asked. "What did it feel like to kill Red John? I'm working on a book where Nikki Heat finally finds her mother's killer, and I could use some ideas."
Jane was quiet for a while, and Castle began to wonder if he might have crossed the line with the question.
"You have a daughter, don't you?" Jane finally asked.
Castle nodded, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable.
"She's in her late teens, about 18 or 19? Just started college?" When Castle nodded again, he continued. "My daughter was five years old when Red John killed her. If she were alive, she'd be about the same age."He stood up and walked to Castle. "Killing Red John felt nothing compared to the pain of the knowledge that I won't see my little girl to grow up and have a happy life. Killing him didn't bring her back, and I would let the world burn for just five minutes with her."
Jane's phone rang. He smiled, his face changing like a dark stormcluod suddenly disappearing to reveal the sun.
"If you'll excuse me," he said, and answered the phone. From the other end of the line, Castle could hear a tinny but quite clearly angry female voice.
"Hello, Lisbon. No, I'm at the crime scene, where else would I be? I have no idea why Cho would think that I've ditched him." He gave Castle a little wave and a smile, and started walking back towards the police cars. "And besides, I already know who did it. I do! Oh, don't scoff at me, Lisbon, I can hear you scoffing!"
Castle stared after him, not noticing that Beckett had returned until she spoke to him.
"Castle, we're in. You coming?"
"Yeah, no thanks. I think I'll skip this one."
"You sure? I thought you were excited about the case."
"Yeah, I'm sure. I think I'll just call Alexis, make sure that she's okay."