The Mother's Loss
Disclaimer: I own neither 'Batman' or 'Castle', and the original idea for this story was inspired by a piece of fanart created by AwsomeGeek and is used with his permission
Feedback: Feel free
AN: This story was inspired by a piece of fanart created by AwesomeGeek- shown below with her permission-, and is based primarily around the idea that Stana Katic, who plays Kate Beckett in Castle
, was also the voice of Talia al Ghul in Batman: Arkham City
(And if anyone hasn't played that game or its prequel, you really should; it's an exceptional game with a great plot that really uses all of the characters involved in its storyline); set in the continuity of 'Batman Begins' for the DC cast and opening some years before the pilot for Castle
, this might not be a long story, but I hope you enjoy what there is of it
Looking back on those dark days after her mother's murder, the specific events of the aftermath would always be somewhat confusing to recall. The events leading up to their discovery of the murder would be forever imprinted in her mind- the moment when she and Jim Beckett had come home to find the detectives waiting outside their flat and the subsequent tale of how her mother had been found dead in an alleyway, everything dismissed as a random mugging despite all the evidence that even she could see didn't make sense-, but everything from then to the funeral had passed in a blur, with her attending to everything that had to be dealt with on automatic rather than thinking about it...
When she walked into her uncle's flat the day after the funeral and saw her father sitting there, however, whatever haze she'd been in ended as she realised that the person she most and least wanted to see was in her apartment.
"Hello, daughter," he said, smiling at her as she turned back after locking the door behind her, sitting serenely in the apartment's most comfortable chair, now repositioned to stare at the door.
"Hello," she said, nodding briefly back at him, not even bothering to reply with a 'father'; her next question was the only thing she wanted to say to him right now. "You know?"
"I am aware of the circumstances of it; nothing more," her father replied, nodding in acknowledgement of her query. "I have been... busy... or I would have been here sooner-"
," she interjected, staring firmly at him.
He could say that he cared as much as he liked, but she wasn't in the mood for that; with the resources he had available to him, he should be out there doing
She might not always approve of what she had heard about his activities, but she'd always been able to convince herself in the past that what her father had done had been done because he was genuinely interested in helping other people by taking out those who deserved it; if he couldn't even be bothered to show up for her mother's funeral
"You don't even care
, do you?" she spat at him. "My mother is dead
, and all you can do is sit
there while Jim breaks down and... and..."
She turned away from him and slammed her hand against the wall behind her in frustration, unable to say or do anything to express the turmoil she felt inside herself right now, remaining in that position until she felt a hand on her shoulder.
"I have lost much over the course of my long life, daughter," her father said, his tone expressing the rare moment of sympathy that she had so rarely heard from him. "I mourn their losses, but it is necessary-"
"'Necessary'?" she spat, turning to glare at him. "She was my mother
; what was 'necessary' about her death?"
"I cannot afford to allow myself to be distracted by... personal matters, daughter," her father said, still staring at her apologetically. "They can motivate me, but I cannot let them define me; it is necessary for me to maintain a clear focus on my task.
That was always how he'd justified his silence about his work in the past, now that she thought about it.
She'd never doubted that her parents loved each other as much as they loved her, even if neither of them had been that expressive towards each other- although her mother had been more than expressive enough towards her for both parents-, but she'd never been entirely comfortable with the secrets that her father had kept from her.
She'd never been deceived about the fact that what he did with his life wasn't a conventional 'business', but she hadn't exactly been told the truth either; her father had always told her that it wasn't time for her to know the full truth of what he did for a living and left it at that, even as she often found herself noting that the locations where he told her that he was going to next on 'business' tended to have certain upheavals taking place in some of the less reputable parts of the countries in question...
Like any little girl who loves her father, she'd wanted to believe the best of him.
But if he could just sit there and speak so coldly about her mother
"I can't do this any more," she said, staring at him resolutely.
"Do what?" her father asked, looking at her in confusion.
," she said, staring firmly at him. "I could cope with you just... dropping in and out of my life whenever you wanted-"
"I have a responsibility to the League-" he began.
that you have your reasons, but I just... I can't do
this, all right," she said, glaring at him in exasperation. "You come and go whenever it suits you, barely made it in time for anything
I actually asked you to be there for- god, my uncle
is more like my father than you are; at least he can be guaranteed to show up
-, and now, when you could actually use
those resources to help, you won't
"I cannot allow my anger to control me, daughter," her father said, looking solemnly at her. "I have endured that pain before, and giving in to it just led to even greater harm; I must maintain my distance-"
endured it before!" she said, glaring at him as she stepped back to ensure that he was listening to her. "You might be able to see some grand picture, but I can't
; all I can see right now is Jim Beckett, trying to cope with the fact that he's just lost his only sister in a stupid, pointless accident that nobody's going to look at more closely..."
For a moment she simply stood in silence, staring at her father in cold resolution, before she sighed and continued to speak. "I... no matter how you cope with... what you do... I can't do
that. I've just lost my mother, and nobody's giving me answers... just like the families of those caught up in your crusade won't get any answers..."
"The work pains me more than you can imagine, daughter-" her father began.
"But I don't see
you care," she replied, staring at him, hoping that he wouldn't take this the wrong way even as she knew that even the right interpretation of what she was about to say would hurt him. "I just... I don't want to lose
that connection... and I don't want to become so detached that it stops happening. I know that it won't end what I'm feeling right now, but I don't want to do something that will cause others to feel this pain; I want... something that will give them answers
"Sometimes there are no answers, daughter-" her father began.
"But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to find them," she countered, staring firmly back at him. "Even if you won't do anything yourself... even if you have to focus on your mission
... let me have a chance to find a way to help those who need it."
After her father had stared silently at her for a few moments, she spoke again.
"If you care about me at all," she said, playing the one card that she knew he wouldn't be able to resist, "you have to let me do find my own way now."
For a moment, the two of them stood in the flat and stared in silence at each other, contemplation on her father's face and determination on hers, until the older of the two finally broke the silence.
"How will you do this?" he asked.
Despite the grim mood of the situation, she smiled at him.
"Don't worry, I'm not going to do anything to incriminate you," she said, before her eyes narrowed. "But let me make one thing clear; if you do anything- anything
- that threatens where I am, or might come to threaten anyone I care about-"
"I will not," her father replied, nodding briefly at her in acceptance of her ultimatum before it had even been fully delivered. "We will meet again."
"I know," she replied, nodding in acknowledgement of his statement. "But... not yet. Just... give me time to find my way."
"Of course," he said, nodding politely at her. "Goodbye, Talia."
"Goodbye, father," she said, nodding back at him before he departed the flat, the door closing behind him.
As the door clicked shut behind her father, she somehow knew that this moment was the moment when she would stop even referring to herself as Talia al Ghul.
She wouldn't insist that her father call her by anything else, of course- given who and what he was, he was a creature of habit even if very few of them were predictable ones-, but she could no longer think of herself as Talia after what had just transpired.
As far as she was concerned, the life she'd lived where her father was a constant presence in her life was over.
From this moment onwards, she would be Kate Beckett- the name her mother had given her to escape her father's enemies and help her blend in with other children- first and foremost; what she'd been when she was Talia al Ghul had no place in the life that she would now create for herself.
Somehow, in some way, she was going to help people find the answers that it seemed nobody could provide for her...