I don’t drink espresso at the precinct any more, just regular old drip coffee. Even though I wince after every sip, it just doesn’t seem right to fire up the cappuccino machine anymore. That was Castle’s thing. Now that he’s gone, I can’t bring myself to do it. Then there’s Beckett’s desk. Not every day, but a couple of times a week, I’ll turn the corner on that side of the bullpen and get halfway through reciting a report to her before I have to stop myself. Things are very different without the two of them around, no doubt about it.
That doesn’t mean Esposito and I aren’t kicking butt though. We’re unstoppable forces of crime fighting awesomeness. We’re still clearing cases, putting bad guys away and defending the city from evildoers - obviously. But, I will admit we have to work even harder now than ever before. Our team has been cut in half and there’s no way to avoid feeling the pinch. But we keep on because, really, what else are we going to do? Stop doling out justice? Not likely.
There are those cases when I really do miss them though. Like this one recently where someone murdered a super wealthy financial guy. He came from absolutely nothing and built this huge empire – we’re talking a billionaire several times over. But he was ruthless with his money, known around town as a real tightwad. He was the kind of guy who would spend $50 million on an apartment, and then under tip his waiter. Then, about a week before he died, all that changed. He started forking over his whole fortune to charity – he couldn’t get rid of his money fast enough. That was weird enough, but the real kicker came when we searched his apartment. The guy had this hidden drawer in his desk where we found all sorts of crazy Satanic stuff – pentagrams, bones, pictures of goats’ heads – that sort of thing. When I saw that, I smiled to myself, and wished I could hear all the crazy bickering it would have brewed up between Castle and Beckett.
Castle would insist that the victim was a Satanist who sold his soul to the devil in order to make his fortune, and then when he started doing good - donating to charities and the like – the devil killed him for reneging on their agreement. Beckett would no doubt expand the suspect pool beyond Satan himself to include his slighted heirs, his betrayed coworkers or the thousands of people whose lives he destroyed in the name of profit. In the end we discovered he was killed by a jealous mistress, and the hidden items were actually part of a forgotten Halloween costume.
No matter what happens, I know my time working alongside Castle and Beckett will make up some of the most memorable moments of my career. They were an incredible team and their absence is a loss to the city of New York. But crimes still need to be solved, so Esposito and I soldier on – and, as I may have mentioned, we still kick some serious butt.