Characters/Pairing: Richard Castle (Castle/Shakespeare)
Notes: Written for MMOM 2012, Day 3. Prompt from book_junkie007: Castle, Castle, Shakespeare. Unbeta'd comments and concrit welcome.
Warnings: Shakespeare is a bit of a perv. Read at your own risk.
Summary: Castle has a beef with the Bard.
There’s one in every crowd. Even when it’s a presumably friendly crowd, one that’s specifically there to see him, get his autograph, buy his books. Sometimes the “one” has been dragged there by a wife or girlfriend. Castle assumes the “one” is just overwhelmed with jealousy at his combination of talent, success and rugged good looks. They have to lash out the only way they can, but pointing out that while Castle’s talent has been validated by both money and generally positive reviews, it’s still genre fiction, and there for not considered great literature, or as the “one” has insisted on pointing out at Coliseum Books, “It ain’t Shakespeare.”
He smiles his best publicity photo smile and politely agrees with the joker, who comes equipped with a Brooklyn accent and a beer-gut. Then he points out that in Shakespeare’s day, he too was considered a successful hack, gets a laugh by comparing the Globe to Shea Stadium and calls for another question, this one from a stunning blonde in the front row who simpers and throws up a softball about what he wears when he writes. The whole thing is forgotten, or at least it should be, but Martha can tell he’s in a mood the minute he gets home.
“What is darling? Are they still mad at your for killing Derrick Storm? Claiming they saw the twist in Naked Heat coming through the Lincoln Tunnel?”
“It’s not Shakespeare, is it,” he shoots back in a petulant voice.
She knows better than to pursue this conversation and flutters off, leaving him to brood with leftover mac and cheese and the galleys for Heat Rises. Eventually he gives up on getting any work done tonight and heads to bed still in a major sulk.
“Fuckin’ Shakespeare,” Castle mutters to himself.
Damn. There he is, Ruff, receding hair line, plummy accent. The usual deal.
It’s embarrassing. Not to fantasize about a writer, or even a male writer. He got over those inhibitions back in boarding school. It’s just that he’d prefer someone a little more manly. Hemingway or Norman Mailer. Why not one of his fellow hard-boiled mystery writers? How about a nocturnal visit from Dashiell Hammett?
The Shakespeare thing had started back in college. His freshman year at UCLA when he was actually in danger of failing a class on Shakespeare, which he completely blamed on his teacher. Professor Winter was a washed up old ham who’d gone into teaching when the boozing led to a car accident and a wheelchair. As far as Richard could tell, his idea of teaching the history plays was to have the class read both parts of Henry IV aloud in class, just so he could “entertain” them with his rendition of Falstaff, while ogling whatever coeds were stupid enough to be amused.
Richard thought he was going to fall asleep in every class, if he didn’t walk out first.
When he called his mother to complain about this, she let out one of her dramatic sighs and told him he’d understand someday. He wasn’t sure whether she envisioned him as an old letch or just an attention hound. Her only concrete advice was to find something in the plays that would hold his interest enough to make them real for him.
“There’s some good stuff,” in there, she reminded him before running off to a rehearsal or something else that was more important than listening to her son.
Maybe she hadn’t meant for him to start going through each and every play looking for the dirtiest bits he could find, but he had to do something and at least it was a way to get himself through the class. He already fancied himself a writer and it would be embarrassing to flunk a lit course in his first year.
“Graze on my lips; and if those hills be dry, stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie.”
“My cherry lips have often kissed thy stones.”
“By my life, this is my lady’s hand: these be her very
C’s, her U’s, and her T’s; and thus makes she her great P’s.”
OK, some it was juvenile, but if he could keep himself amused long enough to stay awake in class, he knew he could ace the final. He just didn’t expect the author himself to make an appearance in his imagination.
You like that one don’t you, Richard?
“Uh no. Yes. Um….are you really? What are you doing here?”
I like to see people enjoying my work. That’s why I wrote it after all.
He was embarrassed to be caught, but more so when he realized that he’d been enjoying it exactly the way Shakespeare seemed to be. And that he wanted to enjoy it some more and apparently he didn’t mind an audience. Ewwww. But at the same time….
Shall I leave?
“Yes, No. Please. Guh.”
Go ahead. I really do like to watch.
“Dirty old man.”
Ghost. Dirty, filthy old ghost. And you, young Richard, are a beautiful boy and someday you’ll be a great writer. Now please take down your britches and show me how much you enjoy my work.
He was hard already, and even though he had a crush on a redhead in his socio-linguistics course, he found himself oddly aroused by the idea of William Shakespeare watching him jerk off, or wank, as he’d probably say. He’d never thought of himself as either gay or an exhibitionist, but maybe it was time to learn something new. The ghost thing didn’t faze him at all. This was Shakespeare after all. Ghosts were to be expected.
Yes, dear boy. Just like that. You are a young man of special gifts, aren’t you?
Size maybe, but not much endurance. He went off, pretty fast, spilling seed as it were. EWWWW, he thought again, wondering what exactly had just happened, and what it meant about him.
Not much really. He got through the class with a B + and shortly thereafter met Kyra.
As for Shakespeare, he showed up from time to time, usually when Richard was feeling especially insecure about his writing, and they generally reenacted that first encounter. He still wasn’t sure what was ghost and what was subconscious. He knew Beckett would laugh at him for giving any credence to the first possibility. On the other hand, she’d probably laugh louder if she knew he got off on the idea of Shakespeare watching him.
She is quite a Kate, your Kate.
“She’s not my Kate,” he replied, almost by rote.
As you like it, but I think the scribe doth protest too much.
“Are we going to get on with this or are you just going to sit there playing your greatest hits.”
You have a different sort of playing in mind? By all means, good Richard. You are still quite lovely.
If you insist.
He did. He was older now. He knew how not to go off after a few strokes and he knew what he wanted. He imagined himself with Kate, making long slow, love until they were both exhausted and she was finally able to admit that she loved and trusted him. He kept his stroking going, half aware of Shakespeare watching, participating, maybe even tweaking the image into something that much more poetic, until he did come, grunting and in a lazy, body-twitching spasm, that helped toss away all the doubts and fears. The hell with Brooklyn. Castle might not be Shakespeare, but he knew Shakespeare and Shakespeare loved him.
Richard fell asleep holding his pillow, with Shakespeare’s voice in his ear.
Goodnight, sweet Castle.