Entering Gotham City
AN: Shorter chapter this time, but its main purpose is to set the stage for later; hope you like it.
As he pulled at the oars of the boat, Castle wished that he could have come up with a more efficient plan than this; rowing into Gotham might be a quieter way of doing this, but it could be really
tiring on the arms...
Gotham wasn't actually that difficult; nobody was watching the city to ensure that people wouldn't be able to get into
Gotham, given that Bane's orders had focused on the consequences of people trying to leave the city rather than the consequences if a couple of independent operatives entered the city. Add in the fact that rowing was one of the most tedious ways to get to Gotham in its current state- most of the docks in the city had been destroyed in Bane's initial attack, and the sea around the city was rapidly becoming too cold for anyone to get there in any kind of comfort-, and Castle was reasonably certain that they'd manage to fly 'under the radar' long enough to reach the city in question.
of the city afterwards was another matter, of course, but it was one that Kate- he wasn't going to think of her as Talia; she was Kate Beckett to him before anything else- had pointed out they could deal with when the time came; once Bane and Nyssa had been dealt with, they'd have plenty of time to work out how to leave the city (It was always when
rather than 'if'; thinking positively was the best they could do in this situation right now).
With Alexis settling in to college and Martha having agreed to run interference for them if anyone came looking for them- as far as everyone was concerned, he and Kate and decided to take off for a few months to explore their new relationship and maybe brainstorm ideas for a new series now that Frozen Heat
was virtually completed-, there was no immediate need for the two of them to stay in New York now that Kate wasn't in regular employment, and Gotham was the last place that anyone would expect to find either of them if someone tried to look for them.
It wasn't a perfect plan, but it was the best they could come up with without drawing too much attention to what they were up to; at least this way they wouldn't have to worry about their families being caught in the crossfire of what they were about to attempt...
Finally, with night having fallen hours ago and his arms aching after what felt like days of rowing, Castle felt the end of the boat hit the edge of the coastline of the abandoned city. As the boat pushed up on to the edge of the city, he and Kate hurriedly clambering out of the boat, grabbing their large backpacks of equipment and clothes and heading for the shore before they turned back to kick the boat out to sea; losing it might keep them confined on this island, but it wasn't like they could realistically expect to hide the boat from Bane's men while they were staying in Gotham, and anything they could do to prevent him realising that there was anyone new in the city would be a smart move.
For a moment, Castle and Kate stared solemnly at the boat as it drifted away from the city coastline, their only means of escape from this city departing with it, but then they turned to look at each other, and Castle was grateful to see the resolve on Beckett's face.
They might not have a clear idea of what they were actually going to do now that they were here, but they were in Gotham; they'd just have to take everything else as it happened.
"Where to?" he asked, looking at Kate; for once in his life, he had no idea what kind of story he could come up with to explain what they were dealing with in this situation, so he was just going to have to rely on her training instead of his imagination.
"Firstly," Kate replied, looking firmly at her partner, "we have to find Commissioner James Gordon."
"What?" Castle said, looking at her in surprise; he'd been expecting a more independent approach than something that was fundamentally more difficult to accomplish. "Why him?"
"Well, aside from anything else, there is
the practical issue that he's the highest-ranking Gotham police officer left," Kate said, with a slight smile.
"And... you're sure
he's the right guy to talk to?" Castle asked; he might have seen Bane's televised announcement of Gordon's written confession of what had really happened on the night that Harvey Dent had died, but that didn't mean it was easy to completely ignore the idea that the man had lied to everyone for years. "I mean, he covered up a murderer for almost a decade..."
"Exactly; Batman trusted him to spread the story that he
was the one responsible for Dent's crimes to protect Gotham's faith in Dent, and he kept to that story ever since," Kate said, her tone the firm one she always used when she wouldn't consider hearing any argument to her proposed plan of action. "It might not have been the most... morally appropriate thing to do, but it did the job at the time; right now, what we need is someone who can cope with the difficult decisions we may have to make to solve this problem."
"Uh... point," Castle said, nodding in acknowledgement of her point before looking uncertainly at her. "So... how do we find him?"
"From what the news said, Bane's moving that bomb of his around the streets to prevent anyone identifying its specific location, correct?" Kate said.
"Yeah..." Castle said, nodding in uncertain acknowledgement of her statement; he recalled the news explanation provided about the situation in Gotham, but he was unclear how it related to their current situation.
"So," Kate said, "if we can find one of the truck's he's using for that purpose and follow it, we should
be able to find Gordon's men while they're keeping track of the trucks and follow them back to whatever they're using for headquarters."
"Oh," Castle said, nodding in uncertain understanding. "And... you think that'll work?"
"It'll take a lot of patience, but yeah, I think it'll work," Kate said, smiling slightly at him. "Bane probably thinks that there's nothing anyone can do to him, so he won't be as cautious about that truck as he might be; so long as it remains on the move, he's not going to care about who might be standing around it."
"Because he figures that there's nothing anyone can do to stop it anyway?" Castle asked.
"Pretty much," Kate agreed, nodding in confirmation at him before she turned around to look at the city. "Well, come on, then; we've got a city to search and a whole prison's worth of escaped convicts to evade, and we're not going to get anything done standing around here."
Even as he followed her into town, Castle wished she hadn't mentioned the part about the escaped convicts; this situation was nerve-wracking enough without her bringing that