Most of the time, when I think about being on the job, what I think about are good memories. Telling stories in the bullpen at four in the morning during an all-nighter. Getting a laugh out of Beckett while we're doing background interviews. Arguing with Espo on the way back from some random alibi check. Hearing Castle do his Christopher Walken impression... for the fifteenth time.
It can feel like any other job, where you complain about the hours, the things you're stuck doing, the time it takes away from seeing your significant other. But the truth is, this isn't a job like any other – it can be dangerous and scary and potentially lethal. Making it feel like it's just like any other job, well, that's just a way to cope with all those very frightening possibilities. You don't want to think about those things because otherwise you'll go crazy.
But sometimes events occur that you can't ignore... And this week, one of those happened. Beckett's apartment was blown up by a vengeful serial killer and Beckett herself was very nearly killed in the blast. It's almost too horrifying to imagine and it was real.
As soon as I heard, I rushed to the scene, as did Montgomery and Espo. Thank goodness Beckett survived and Castle made it to her place to help her get out of there. Once we'd seen that she was okay, all we could do was pick through the debris and watch as the FBI, FDNY, and the CSU from our home team of the NYPD did their jobs.
The terrifying facts are that you can do this job to perfection, but some nutbar can still get it in his head that you're Nikki Heat or the Messiah or the reason he can't get his cable TV to work. Being murder police, we're on the front line of taking down killers and they don't tend to take too kindly when we try to arrest them for their crimes. So doing our job can merely be enough for someone to try to take us down.
When I went home to Jenny that night, we had a long talk. She's known from the start what I do for a living –I probably tell too many stories about work as it is. This is the first time, though, that the dangers of the job really became clear to her. She was scared, really scared, that something like that could happen to me. And as much as I wanted to promise her it never would... I couldn't. As an NYPD officer, you have to be willing to put yourself on the line every day. You hope that you won't have to, of course. but that's the job. That's the duty we signed up for. No one ever said it would be easy. If it was, we probably wouldn't do it.
The next morning, I came in to work and our team was on a tear. Working with Agent Shaw, Agent Avery and the whole FBI team, we were all able to put the pieces together. Sticking that killer behind bars made this one of the most satisfying cases in my career, partially because it was also one of the most disturbing. Afterwards, what we felt wasn't so much relief as pure exhaustion – like we'd just finished running a weeklong marathon. In the days since, we've come back to our usual ways. Espo cracking wise, Castle making his witty & silly jokes, Beckett giving them both her usual look of annoyance. It feels like things are back to normal and hopefully it'll stay that way. Cases like that are rare, but they're also a reminder of the responsibility we took up when we put on the badge. Thankfully they don't happen every day, but when they do, we're forced to rise above our fears and do our jobs. It can be terrifying, it can be dangerous, but it's a job that needs to be done.
Now, with all that heavy talk out of the way, I hope you'll excuse me. I've got to collect my winning from a bet I had going with Esposito on how long it'd take until Castle got the glare-of-death from Beckett today (Answer: 30 seconds). After that, I'm off to take Jenny to Serendipity and then for a horse ride through Central Park. What? Too cheesy? After last week, I need all the cheesiness I can get! Hot Chocolate and horses, here I come...