The True History of Kate Beckett
AN: Another jump forward, this one of a few days or so; hope you like it as I begin to explore how this story will diverge from canon...
Looking back, Richard Castle would never know why he'd chosen the course of action he'd chosen to take on that day. With Alexis and his mother away to prepare for Alexis's departure for college- they were spending a few days checking out some of the rooms near the campus to determine what means of transportation would be more practical, that kind of thing-, he'd been looking forward to finding some time to spend with Kate on her own, but when he'd come home after dropping off the last Nikki Heat book, he'd been surprised to come home to find Kate packing a large bag, grabbing various items ranging from clothing to food and sticking them in one of those massive suitcases he'd acquired during one of his 'post-opening-week spending sprees', when he received a new influx of money and wanted to do something with it.
"Uh... Kate?" he asked, looking awkwardly at her as she looked up at the sound of the door opening. "Something I should know about?"
For a moment, as her gaze alternated between the half-filled bag and him, Castle wasn't sure if he was expecting her to ignore his request or answer it, but then she came to a decision and looked at him resolutely.
"Rick," she said to him, with an emotional earnestness in her voice that he only ever heard from her when she was discussing something intensely personal to her own life, "I need your help."
"With what?" Castle asked, looking back at her in confusion; judging by her expression, whatever she was about to ask him for was something that he could
help her with- which ruled out getting her job back; his friendship with the Mayor wasn't that
good-, but at the same time it was something that she wasn't sure he would
help her with...
"I need to get into Gotham City."
If it had been any other situation proposed, Castle liked to think that he would have been able to come up with a joke about how one of the things he loved about Kate was her continued ability to surprise him.
As it was, upon hearing that she was intending to go into
the city that had just been virtually cut off from the rest of America and was the location of a ticking nuclear bomb, Castle was ashamed to admit that his first thought was that Kate was suffering from some kind of mental breakdown.
?" he said, looking incredulously at her. "You're telling me you want
to go there-?"
"Because I have to," Kate replied, looking at him in solemn contemplation for a few moments before she took a deep breath and continued to speak. "I haven't been... entirely honest with you, Castle."
"About what?" Castle asked, his mind flashing over and discarding the worst-case scenarios; she didn't love him, she was suffering some terminal illness, she was leaving him and going back to the NYPD, she'd been on the take since he'd known her...
"My name isn't Kate Beckett," Kate said, throwing all of Castle's guesses completely out of his mind; he'd been anticipating a secret from her past, but not something so fundamentally simple but simultaneously mind-blowing. "I mean, it's legally
Kate Beckett, but I wasn't born with that name."
"What... were you born as?" Castle asked after a momentary silence, Kate giving him time to process the news while he tried to work out the most appropriate response to such an unexpected bombshell.
The idea that Kate Beckett had changed her name was strange on its own, but the possible explanations for why she'd decided to bring it up now- to say nothing of why she'd have done something like that in the first place, or why someone had done it for her if she was too young to do it herself- were not
"My birth name was Talia al Ghul," Kate explained, still looking solemnly at him in a manner that made it clear that this wasn't the end of the matter. "My mother was Johanna Beckett, but Jim Beckett was my uncle rather than my father; my biological father is Ra's al Ghul."
"Ra's al Ghul?" Castle said, shock at this latest news cutting off any attempt his mind might have made to make some kind of quip, his mind momentarily racing to place the name's origin before he gave up. "What kind of name is that?"
"Arabic," Kate replied grimly. "It means 'the Demon's Head'."
"Uh... interesting name," Castle said, clearly stuck for any other response he could make to such a revelation.
"It suited him," Kate replied grimly. "He was... the best description of him would be a vigilante terrorist; he was known for taking the law into his own hands on several occasions, killing those who had committed crimes and escaped punishment for various reasons, and he had assembled a cult of followers who were dedicated to his mission."
Castle had no idea what he could say to a revelation like that, so he didn't bother saying anything.
Kate Beckett's biological father was basically a terrorist?
Once again, a revelation that would have been 'cool'- in a twisted sort of way, anyway- from anyone else in any other situation just became twisted when he heard it revealed in this manner.
"My father eventually died when he attempted to destroy Gotham City almost a decade ago," Kate continued, giving Castle a moment to look at her in shock as she noted his momentary expression of intense thought before her real meaning occurred to him. "Yes, it was that incident with the riots and the rampages shortly after the Batman's debut; yes, Batman had some connection to my father's organisation in that he trained with them for some time but he rejected their philosophy where their willingness to kill was concerned; and no, I'm not
going to tell you who he is."
"Wasn't going to ask-" Castle began.
you, Rick Castle," Kate said, smiling warmly at him for a moment before she turned her attention to the current conversation. "What matters right now is that the current attack on Gotham is the result of my sister attempting to complete my father's last mission-"
?" Castle interrupted, his eyes widening incredulously at this latest news.
"Yes; my sister," Kate said, nodding firmly at Castle. "She's only my half-sister, of course; she was the child of my father's first wife, who was imprisoned by her father in place of my own as part of a deal to ensure my father's release from prison. My sister's mother was killed shortly after her birth when the prison doctor left their cell door open, but my sister was protected by one of the residents long enough for her to successfully escape from the prison."
"Uh... congratulations to her," Castle said, stuck for anything else he could say to such information.
"Her guardian became a member of my father's organisation, but he was expelled for being too extreme in his methods- which, when you consider some of my father's plans, is saying a lot
about how dangerous he is-, and that was pretty much the last I heard of him until I saw him in Gotham on the news a few days ago," Kate continued.
"But- hold on, you mean that Bane guy?" Castle said, looking at Kate in shocked realisation. "He
was your sister's guardian?"
"The mask he wears was actually one of her gifts to him; it provides him with an elaborate cocktail of drugs that help him maintain control of the pain he constantly feels due to injuries he sustained while protecting her in prison," Kate explained.
"And... you think your sister's involved in this whole thing with Gotham?" Castle asked.
she is," Kate said, reaching into her bag and removing a small folder, which she opened to pull out two photographs before passing them to Castle. One of them was a personal photograph showing Kate Beckett, apparently in her early twenties at best, standing alongside another woman a couple of years older than her with shorter, darker, slightly curled hair and a rounder face, somehow coming across as a warmer and colder version of Kate Beckett at the same time, possessing a certain edge in her appearance that unnerved Castle in a way that he would have found attractive if he witnessed it in Kate. The other photograph, apparently taken from a newspaper, showed the other woman dressed in a business suit standing outside the entrance area of a large building.
"The photograph was taken at our only real meeting; Nyssa and I didn't really talk much when my mother was alive, as she felt our father's relationship with her was a betrayal of her
mother, and after my mom's death we just didn't really agree on anything," Kate explained. "The newspaper photograph is of Miranda Tate, a new member of the Wayne Enterprises board; if Nyssa was going to gain any kind of influence in Gotham City, she'd do it through the biggest corporation in the city."
"And you didn't... mention it earlier?" Castle asked; given everything he knew about Kate's dedication to the law, he couldn't imagine her not warning anyone about a potential terrorist just because the individual in question was her sister. "You know, the fact that their newest member is a member of a terrorist group?"
"Nyssa never really did
anything with the League when I knew her- she participated in the training, but as far as I ever heard our father never sent her out on a mission on her own-; when I saw Miranda Tate in the paper I just assumed that she'd abandoned her old connections to our father and decided to make a new life for herself like I did," Kate explained.
"And now you think that's not the case?" Castle asked.
"The only reason Bane would attempt something like this would be if Nyssa arranged it, particularly when he's attacking the city that she's living in," Kate informed him. "My sister was always more focused on my father's goals rather than his mission; once he gave her an order, she was more focused on ensuring that it was carried out without asking too many questions about why he wanted that particular action to be carried out."
"In other words, she's going to want to destroy Gotham because he
wanted to destroy it rather than because she wants it to be blown up herself?" Castle asked.
"Exactly," Kate confirmed. "I'm not going to lie and say that Gotham's a perfect city, but it's nowhere nearly as bad as it was when my father tried to destroy it years ago; anything that she does to make Gotham 'prove her point' will accomplish nothing but reflect how civilisation as a whole can stumble in this kind of situation, rather than how Gotham alone is flawed."
"And you think you can help if you can get in there?" Castle asked.
"I have to at least try," Kate replied, staring grimly at the newspaper photograph for a moment before she put it in the folder once more and looked back at him. "She's my sister, Rick; if she has gone this far, I have to stop her now, even if I couldn't do it earlier."
Looking at the cold resolve on her face, Castle knew that there was only one choice to make.
"Then I'm coming with you," he said firmly.
"What-?" Kate began.
"I just need a little time to finish the last 'Nikki Heat', and then I'm pretty much free as the proverbial bird for a year or so; I think I can claim I was taking a prolonged vacation long enough for the two of us to get in there and figure out the lay of the land," Castle said, staring at her with a resolution in his expression hat Kate had only ever seen when his mind was totally made up about something. "This is important to you, and that means it's important to me; Alexis has college now, and mother can keep an eye on her while I'm away, but I'm not
sending you into the most potentially dangerous city on Earth right now without me there as well."
After a moment's silence as she stared at him- during which Castle constantly contemplated taking back his sudden ultimatum and discarding that option as soon as it had crossed his mind; he could cope with missing Alexis's first few months at college, but he'd never forgive himself if he let the woman he love go into such a dangerous situation on her own-, Kate smiled.
"All right," she said, smiling slightly at him. "It's not likely that Nyssa's going to want to destroy the city too soon- she'd want to give it time to prove to her that she's justified in what she's doing-, so we should be able to spare some time to prepare... just don't take too
"We'll be in Gotham this time next month," Castle said, nodding firmly at her.
He didn't know where he was going with this sudden decision, he was about to attempt something that re-evaluated every pre-existing standard of insanity and impulsive behaviour that he thought he'd known about himself before now, and everything that he thought he knew about the woman he loved had suddenly changed in a matter of minutes, but he was sure of one thing for certain; he was not
going to abandon Kate Beckett/Talia al Ghul to the insanity of Gotham City and her previously-unknown half-sister if there was anything that he could do about it.
AN 2: Hope that met with your satisfaction; coming up next, a month jump forward as Kate and Castle work on breaking into