|Salt in the Snow
Author: piper maru duchovny PM
From the moment she drifts from consciousness all he can think of is the million and one things they never got to do. Spoilers for Countdown - 3x17. Castle & Beckett.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - Rick C. & Kate B. - Words: 1,618 - Reviews: 17 - Favs: 32 - Follows: 6 - Published: 02-25-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6775330
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Don't read this if you want to remain spoiler free. I've watched the sneak peek of them in the freezer about twenty times and this formed in my mind whether I wanted it to or not. I hope it plays out a little like this - but better because I wrote this while half-asleep. Enjoy. (and review, please, seriously). Also, please please please go listen to this song. I really debated posting the whole thing but this is the part that really inspired the story but the song as a whole is very Caskett-y.
Disclaimer: I own not a thing.
Is this where I am for your sake,
Stuck between sleep and awake,
My mind is dreaming of things,
Are you listening?
I took you for granted again,
Threw you aside and pretended,
For that one minute I had control of my life,
And direction it seemed to be in,
I was wrong again,
Are you listening?
I have heard that winter's cold,
Will give way to summer's warmth,
Oh no, like salt in the snow,
I'm melted and left all alone on the side of the road
-Salt in the Snow by Classic Crime;
His whole body was convulsing as he lifted her from the floor of the freezer and onto his lap. He settled her on his stiff legs and wrapped his coat around the both of them as his shaking fingers sought out the pulse point on her neck. She was alive; her pulse was weak but there and Castle rested in the fact that her heart was still beating. His eyes burned with tears that needed to fall but frozen tear ducts prohibited as he pressed kisses to her frost laden hair. She was so small wrapped in his arms, unconscious, and he made a mental note that if they made it out of the freezer alive that he would make sure she ate three square meals a day and never counted a calorie again.
His mind was running rampant and he had to speak before he lost what he had left of his sanity. So, he began speaking to the woman in his arms, "I don't know if you can register any of this but I've got some things I need you to hear, Kate. I'm just gonna talk and should you decide to go back to inhabiting your brain then you just tell me to shut up, okay? I hope it's warm and filled with liquor wherever you are in there." He paused to pepper her hair with kisses and check her pulse again, "I'm sorry for last summer. I'm sorry for all of it. For pushing when I should have just walked away and for being an annoying jerk at the most inconvenient of times. I'm sorry I got in the way of your happiness because that's all I've ever wanted. You have a beautiful smile and a wonderful laugh – have I ever told you that? If not, well, I'm making a mental note to mention it every day once we get out of here. You're the most beautiful woman I know, Kate Beckett – Deep Fried Twinkies not withstanding. We've got to get out of here because there's so much we haven't done yet."
Her breathing was light and only every few seconds. He swallowed the lump in his throat and kept talking, "I always wanted to take you with me on a book tour. This summer, we'll do it and I won't take no for an answer. You, me, and Alexis before she leaves for college. I'll have Paula schedule it. We'll take it slow and leisurely down the seaboard until you're as tan as a Jersey Shore girl and every bit of this coldness has been eradicated."
He blinked hard and tried to keep his focus, "I always wanted to take you on a date. Somewhere nice and off the beaten path – where the paparazzi could never find us. There's this diner up in the Catskills that Alexis and I were regulars at a few summers ago. We could go there. Take your bike. Visit your dad." His mind was jumping from thought to thought as he came up with a million things he wanted to do with her, "We're gonna get out of here, KB. I promise you. I promise you, Kate, that I will be that guy. I am that guy. I'm the one you won't ever be able to shake. You won't ever have to be alone again. You have me as long as you want me and even when you don't. We'll figure it out. Repercussions be damned. You and me, Kate Beckett, we go together."
The same bitter cold was slowly pulling him from concsiousness and he fought to stay awake for her. He pulled her impossibly closer and dipped his head to capture her lower lip between his for just a moment before letting go.
"I love you," He managed before slipping into the same darkness.
The sound of metal clanging managed to pull him from his unconscious stupor as the doors swung open. He blinked his eyes repeatedly as frost blurred his vision. Esposito and Ryan's familiar voices called to him as he wrapped his arms tighter around his partner. He closed his eyes tightly before forcing them open to see Javier Esposito knelt before him, pulling off his coat and wrapping it around them, "Give her to me, Bro. Ryan's gonna help you and you'll be right behind her. You've gotta give her to me Castle. I need to get her out of here."
His grip loosened and Esposito lifted his boss from the writer's arms, "Careful."
"He will be," Ryan promised as he slid off his own coat and wrapping it around Castle, "C'mon, Dude, work with me here."
With Ryan's help he stumbled from the freezer and out the dock of the warehouse where an ambulance awaited. He watched as they hooked Beckett up to a warm saline IV and covered her in warm blankets. When they reached the empty stretcher, he collapsed against it and Ryan lifted him the rest of the way.
In the ambulance he was hooked up to his own IV and the jostling of the ambulance shocked Beckett awake. He defiantly slid his hand from under the warm blanket to reach over and calm her. Whatever orders the EMT was trying to give him could be damned as she grasped his hand tightly.
The hospital tried desperately to take Castle to his own room but he had screamed and threatened to sign out against medical advice if they separated him from his partner who was slipping in and out of consciousness. His IV was hooked up to a portable stand and warm blankets were wrapped around him every ten minutes until his core temperature returned to an acceptable degree. He sat in the wheel chair clutching her hand as they pumped her full of fluids.
It took nearly an hour for her to pull out of it. When her eyes opened wide he was the first thing that she saw. Their fingers were intertwined and his blue eyes bore into hers with an intensity that knocked the breath from her chest. Her voice was weak but she managed a soft, "Castle."
"We're okay," He promised her and pulled her hand to his lips, "they just needed to warm us back up."
"You look like hell," She coughed and squeezed his hand.
He smirked and promised, "You don't look much better."
With little thought to the contrary they both leaned in and kissed slowly. It wasn't an admission of love or a passionately sensual kiss but rather a confirmation and reassurance that the other was still alive. They parted with upturned lips and questioning glances.
When her temperature had risen to an acceptable 97.9 and Castle's cold burns had been medicated they both signed out of the hospital despite everyone's protests. Her lips were chapped all to hell from the bitter cold and he was covered in a sickeningly slick sweat from the sudden warm up but together they managed to leave. Leaning against each other heavily, the walked together to the car awaiting to take them back to work.
Everyone was slowly dwindling from the precinct in a haze of exhaustion. The bomb had been found and disabled at the last possible second and after the adrenaline high had worn off the 12th precinct found themselves tired to the bone. They stood together at her desk staring at the murder board that was currently empty. They had watched Agent Fallon until he entered the elevator and exited their lives – hopefully on a permanent basis.
"Castle," She leaned against him; he wrapped her in his arms and she sighed, falling into him, "you're warm."
"You feeling okay?" He asked; the bomb threat banished he was now free to worry about their cases of hypothermia and his hand brushed her forehead in search of a fever, "Feeling sick?"
She shook her head, "Just exhausted."
"It's been an exhausting few days." He countered and pulled her in for a tight hug, reassuring himself that she was indeed going to be fine, "We should really try to sleep."
"Yeah," She agreed and pulled away to look up at him, "thanks for not letting me die in that freezer."
"Thanks for not slugging me when I suggested other ideas for generating heat."