Title: A Prat, His Butler, A Queen & Two Knights Walk Into A NY Precinct
Fandom: Merlin with a Castle flair
Beta:tempertemper who is the most amazing person at sniffing out spelling & grammatical errors & generally making me feel more like the piece is not utter rot. Plus we bond & giggle, so that's always good fun :D
Detective Guinevere Beckett sat at her desk in the 12th Precinct trying to ignore His Royal Highness, Potentate of the World, Arthur Castle. Why Captain Uther Montgomery ever thought it was going to be a good idea to let this prat shadow her on her investigations was not clear. Especially since several of his fangirls found him based on his stake out tweets last night and started squealing, alerting their suspect, hell, the whole damn neighbourhood,to their presence. He had turned up this morning bearing a cappuccino machine, not one but two cups of her favourite gourmet coffee and an assortment of bear claws. She refused to make eye contact with him, even if Percy Ryan and Lance Esposito were on their third cappuccinos of the morning. The bear claws would grow mouldy before she touched them. And if Arthur didn’t stop staring at her from his seat by her desk while she typed up her report, she was going to shoot him. Fortunately for him, her phone rang.
“Beckett.” She snapped her fingers to get Ryan and Esposito‘s attention, mouthed the words “Trace, line two,” and grabbed a pen.
“Yes, sir. I understand. Where did you say this was going to-no, sir I would never-Who is it that-?”
Arthur sat up in his chair, watching the proceedings as if it were something on cable. Gwen already knew this was something she’d read about in the novel he was basing on her. Against her will. She refrained from rolling her eyes. She hung up after her caller did.
Lance glanced up from his screen. “Cell signal. We narrowed it down to a three block radius.”
“Already on it. Bomb squad has the co-ordinates and is already on the way to the Trump Tower. That’s where he said the bomb was planted right?”
Gwen graced him with a genuine smile. “Yeah, thanks. While the bomb squad deals with defusing the threat, let’s see if we can get closer to this guy. Let’s get uniforms to help us canvass the area the call originated from. We’ll start from the east end, you guys from the west, see if we can’t shake down something.” Her eyes fell on Arthur.
“I’m waiting on you to tweet about it.”
“Look, I’m really sorr-”
Beckett had already breezed by him on her way to the elevator. Arthur looked askance at Lance and Percy.
“Dude, she can’t be bought,” Esposito said. “You’re gonna have to earn her respect.”
“And after last night? Good look with that,” Ryan added as he gathered his coat and walked with Esposito to catch up to Beckett.
They had gone into an apartment building where one of the tenants described a man that sounded like their suspect frequenting the roof for a smoke. Gwen signalled for Arthur to hold the door while she did a silent, thorough sweep of the roof, checking behind every AC unit and storage structure there.
“Clear!” she said reflexively and checked her watch: they had less than six minutes before this bomb was supposed to go off and the sweep of the Trump Tower had turned up nothing. Hundreds of cops at this hour were trying to find something, anything, that would prevent this madman from killing anyone else. Gwen took a step toward the door and almost ran over Castle. She was about to apologise but then,
“If you’re here, who the hell is holding the door, genius?”
He looked back just in time to see the rusty door clang shut. “I umm, wanted to get a shot of this view. Reminds me of my first apart-”
Gwen snapped and started speaking, punctuating her diatribe with sharp finger jabs to his chest.
“We are in the middle-” jab “of a race-”jab “ to keep innocent people from dying-” jab “and you’re taking a walk down memory lane?”
Castle shrunk back from her wrath.
“Tell me: how are we getting down from here?”
“Shout. Someone will hear us.”
“We’re six stories up, Castle. It’s the middle of the day in a blue collar neighbourhood. They’re at their jobs, something you so obviously know nothing about!”
“I’ll call my butler-”
Gwen stormed off. “Give him my regards. I have a crazy explosives expert to find.”
“Gwen, where are you-” Arthur gasped as she took off running and landed on a neighbouring building’s roof a storey below. His shock gave way to pleasure.
“That was hot! That is SO going into the novel!”
Gwen turned back only long enough to gift him a withering glance before calling Esposito for an update on her way down to street level.
“Did you really need an hour to find me, Merlin? I’ve been stuck up here with nothing to do-” Arthur said, rising from his seat on the roof and brushing dirt off his pants.
“I bet you made it through to the next level of Angry Birds.”
“I do not pay you to sass me, you upstart. Did Leon bring the Jaguar?”
“He did.” Merlin held the door open for his boss.
“Good. Gwen hates it when I show up to the 12th in my limo. Why she has such an aversion to the finer things I’ll never know.”
“She judges men on the basis of their character. Her aversion is not to your wealth, it’s to you being a clotpole,” Merlin mumbled.
“What?” Arthur whirled on the stairwell to face his butler.
“I said I was watching the telly and Tiger won the tournament on the 18th hole.”
Arthur scowled. “Did you hear a word I said? Honestly Merlin, if you can’t-”
Merlin tuned out the rest of Arthur’s statement.
“Before you say anything, please, allow me to apologise.”
“You really should hear him out Gwen. You guys did defuse the bomb, you have the suspect in custody and you got him to confess,” Merlin added, peering around Arthur’s shoulder.
It hurt more than he would admit that where Gwen looked ready to strangle him while he slept, all that venom was replaced by glee when she saw his butler. She stepped around the millionaire novelist to hug Merlin.
“Hey, you! Whatever happened to our movie night?”
He inclined his head toward Arthur. “I had to muck out the stables. I sent you a text remember?”
“Oh yeah. Is tonight better? Because there’s a-“
“Excuse me,” Arthur interrupted frostily.
“Bathroom’s that way,” Gwen retorted without taking her eyes off Merlin.
“Gwen, really, he’s trying to apologise.”
“He should apologise by leaving me alone.”
“He really does write better now that you’re his muse,” Merlin entreated.
“Like I care about his writing,” Gwen snorted.
“Come now, Gwen. Remember the book signing-” Gwen glared and Merlin shut up but not fast enough.
“You came to one of my book signings?” Arthur asked incredulously. “Man I must have been plastered if I didn’t think to get your number.”
Gwen whirled like a tigress on the hunt.
“Is this how you apologise?”
“No. Look, Gwen, I’m sorry about today. I know I’m always screwing things up for you but I’m a quick learner. I didn’t tweet anything about today and the next time you tell me to stay put I will. It’s just that I’m not used to being in situations where my actions carry so much weight. You are a constant surprise Detective Beckett and I don’t know how I’ll finish this novel without you.” His earnest blue eyes burned into her brown ones.
She turned to Merlin. “What do you think?”
He shrugged. “A seven, maybe?”
“On the basis of Merlin’s of rating your apology, I promise to refrain from poisoning your coffee. But I reserve the right to change my mind.”
“So I can stay?”
“What can I do to make up for the fiasco last night?”
She slid her hand into the space between Merlin’s elbow and side and held on to his arm.
“When I make plans with Merlin, you’re not to give him extra work so he won’t be able to come.”
“I would never-” Arthur started.
“I’m a detective.”
“Fine,” He admitted on a sigh.
“Great! Come on Merlin. We’ll take my Ducati but first we have to go to my place so I can change into tight. Black. Leather.” The two friends walked off arm in arm while Arthur groaned at the image the little vixen painted in his mind.