Author: Anjirika PM
Set at the very end of S3 E17 'Countdown' when Castle goes up to Kate only to be interrupted by Josh. This is a story about two people who through refleciton on the past realize that taking chances may be their only chance at happiness. Please R&RRated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Friendship - Kate B. & Rick C. - Words: 2,308 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 25 - Follows: 7 - Published: 02-28-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6787190
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Authors Note: I loved Setup and I loved Countdown though I felt that the Castle/Beckett angst could have been a little better. I wished that they had really worked with the whole radiation thing like they did with Tony & Kate in the plague NCIS episode. The scenes in the freezer were brilliant as was the moments before the bomb was supposed to go off and even up until the last minute of the show I didn't mind that Josh was back— however he ruined Castles confession and that I can not stand. Only in my wildest dreams could this happen on Castle, and honestly I don't know how much of their dancing around I can take. I mean their worse than Harm & Mac from JAG, worse than Sam & Jack and Daniel & Vala from SG1, worse than Elizabeth & John from Atlantis. This story picks up from those last few seconds and tries to change things. This is only my third Castle story so please be kind. -Anjirika
If the last case had taught him anything, it was that life was too short to not tell the people in his life how he really felt. Castle had felt as though he was on death's doorstep not once, not twice but three times and in each of the three scenarios he had tried to tell Kate Beckett how he felt about her. The first time it was to assure her that he would be willing to dive in to a relationship with her— that was when they thought that they had been exposed to a lethal dose of radiation poisoning.
The second time he felt as though he should have confessed his love was when they were locked in the freezer. Huddled on that floor together, Kate had started saying something that she never finished, but Castle's over-active imagination filled in the blanks but those blanks were quickly shot to hell when he came face to face with Josh— the hero medical doctor who hadn't gone to Haiti like they all had thought.
The third and final time Castle had been tempted to confess his feelings, was when they were face to face with the bomb. Agent Fallon didn't have the pictures to help them diffuse it and there was thirty seconds on the clock. He hated the fear in Kate's eyes and he didn't want to die without telling her how he felt. He was resigning himself to the fact that they would die together but then she had said his name, and had taken his hand and Castle did the first thing that came to his mind to try and stop the bomb, he pulled all the wires out and the damn thing stopped, with one second on the clock.
He knew that the saying went that third time's the charm and coming face to face with a dirty bomb made Castle realize that there was no time like the present and so after Agent Fallon had said his piece, he had turned to Beckett.
"Kate," he began, his heart racing. "I was thinking..." he paused and looked behind her shoulder. "It's been a long day," he finished, trying to ignore the look of confusion on her face and the superior look on Josh's. "I should go home and uh, get some rest. See you tomorrow."
He turned and headed towards the elevator without saying another word but when he turned around to press the elevators button he couldn't help but catch a glimpse of the woman he had grown to admire and love in the arms of another man. Guess what they say is wrong, he thought dejectedly to himself as the doors to the elevator close. It's not a good idea to take chances...
Kate was confused. She had been so sure that Castle was going to say something profound, but when she had turned to see Josh standing there it all made sense. First she had told Castle that she wasn't sure about her new boyfriend because he was never there, and then when he had returned she had told Castle that she was sure she and Josh were going to make it.
But after nearly dying for a third time side by side with Castle yet again Kate realized that she wasn't so sure that Josh and her were going to make it, and it had nothing to do with the fact that she thought that Josh was going to leave. In this case, Kate knew that the problem was herself.
With that thought in mind, Kate pulled away from his embrace.
"Kate?" he asked with a confused look on his face.
"I'm sorry," she apologized, feeling truly sorry that she was about to break up with him. "But after the past forty-eight hours..."
"You almost died," Josh pointed out, knowing the details of what had happened. After being there to help save Kate and Castle she had sort of filled him in on the details and the rest he had clearly worked out for himself. "Three times I might add and I wasn't there for two of them."
"No," Kate agreed, a note of bitterness in her voice. It wasn't that she had really wanted Josh to have been there but at the time that she was living through the moments, or at least the first one she had wanted him to be there and the bitterness she felt was the fact that she hadn't realized sooner that the larger part of her really didn't mind that he hadn't been there. "You weren't there."
Josh sighed. "But Castle was."
Kate was taken aback. She hadn't figured Josh to put two and two together but clearly the dreamy-doctor was more observant than Kate had originally thought. "Yes he was," she answered when she finally found her voice. "He's always had my back and I—"
"You love him." Josh stated and Kate was surprised how it was a statement and not a question.
"I don't know how I feel," Kate answered, partially telling the truth and partially lying because she did have an inkling as to what she felt for the crime writer who had wormed himself into her life. "All I know is that he's always been there for me and I would be a horrible partner let alone a friend if I wasn't there for him now after the day we've had..." Kate paused and softened her expression. "I wish that I said this sooner."
"Yeah, me too." Josh agreed as he leaned forward to give Kate a kiss on the cheek. "Take care of yourself Kate."
Kate nodded. "You too Josh."
Richard Castle was depressed. He returned to his empty apartment knowing that his family would be returning from the Hamptons soon enough and the thought that they were alive and well made him quite pleased. It was his romantic life that was causing him problems. He had been all set to tell Kate how he felt and that he would be willing to dive in to a relationship with her but then her boyfriend had showed up and Castle was reminded yet again that she really had no interest in him, no matter how it seemed to the rest of the precinct, his family and his over active imagination.
Castle was just contemplating what to have to drink when his doorbell sounded. Curious to see who it was, he made his way to the door and when he opened it he was greeted with the most wonderful surprise.
Kate was nervous. Not only that but she wasn't really sure what she was going to say to him once the door was opened. She knew that she and Castle needed to have a conversation regarding certain things but she wasn't sure how to approach it let alone what she was going to say to Castle when he opened the door. Luckily for her, some of the pressure was instantly taken off.
"Kate," he stated warmly, if not a little confused as he opened the door wide.
"Hi Castle," she greeted, feeling like a nervous school girl. "Can I come in?"
"Uh sure," he stated as he moved out of the way so that she could enter his apartment. "Did Josh have to fly away to save the world or something? Because I would have thought after the day we've had that you would have wanted to—"
"Castle," Kate interrupted, knowing that there was no way that she was going to start their conversation on the topic of Josh's heroism. "Can I have a drink?"
"Drink?" he asked. "Sounds like a good idea, after the day we had."
"Yeah," she echoed as followed Castle to his kitchen.
"So what are we toasting?" Castle asked once he had opened a bottle of wine that he had pulled from the rack. He poured her glass then his and handed Kate her drink. "Not getting radiation poisoning? Not freezing to death. Not being blown up by a bomb?"
"How about we toast to all three," Kate began cautiously as she raised her glass. "And to new beginnings."
Kate nodded feeling embarrassed. "I broke up with Josh."
Castle couldn't believe his ears. "Really? Why?" he asked, however when he saw the way that Kate looked at him, in that unreadable expression that he had grown to love he realized that he was being an insensitive jerk. "I mean, I'm sorry," he apologized as he buried his face behind his glass.
Kate shook her head. "Don't be sorry. I'm not."
"You're really asking me that?"
Castle was once again taken aback by her statement and he didn't know what to say to it. "I er..."
Kate sighed and knew that she was going to have to be the brave one here and say what it was that she had came to say. If she was wrong, if she had been misreading his looks and glances and tone then she'd live with the consequences. But her last couple brushes with death had taught her that life was too short to not take chances and so Kate resolved to take a risk.
"I'm sorry for dragging you into this whole world Castle," she apologized, chickening out from saying exactly what she wanted to say right off the bat. "If I hadn't met you, then you wouldn't be in danger."
"Don't talk like that," Castle stated firmly. "If I had never have met you who knows if I would even be here, with all this city's had to face? With this last case? Not to be too big for my britches but I'm not sure that Agent Fallon would have had the creative mind to think outside the box and pull the wires."
Kate laughed. "Yeah, I still can't believe you did that."
"And besides," Castle continued, knowing that there was no better time like the present to tell Kate how he really felt. "If I had never met you then I would have never had the pleasure of knowing you."
"You wouldn't have had your muse either,"
"You're much more than that," Castle assured, detecting a little bit of sadness in Kate's voice.
Kate nodded. "You've got enough to write a thousand books..." she paused and looked at Castle. "So why do you stay?"
"Isn't it obvious?" he asked, waiting only a heartbeat before continuing. "For you."
"Me?" Kate asked, not really paying attention to what she was saying, she was far to shocked by Castle's admission.
Castle for his part nodded and decided that he better say all that he meant to say before he lost the nerve. "I've never met another woman like you Kate. You're amazing and there's nothing that I wouldn't do for you."
Kate smiled. "Well the feelings mutual Castle,"
"I'm glad to hear that," he continued. "But I don't think that you understand what I'm trying to say."
"Then why don't you just say whatever it is that you want to say," Kate stated, her voice sounding breathy and quiet to her own ears.
Castle sighed and knew that he was backed into a corner of his own making. "What I'm saying, and what I wanted to say earlier was that I've been thinking..."
"I've been thinking about what you said, about wanting someone to dive into a relationship with and I was wondering or rather hoping that you'd be willing to jump in...with me."
Kate's breath hitched in her throat and she didn't know what to say. She had been hoping for Castle to say that, but there was a part of her, the pessimistic part that thought that there was no way that a man like Castle would be even remotely interested in a woman like her. As her mind spun, she looked at him and realized that his face was falling— he was disappointed, he thought that she was rejecting with her.
"I'd like that," she stated suddenly, and a little louder than she'd wanted. "To jump in to a relationship," she continued, softer and quieter, feeling like a teenager on her first date. "...with you."
Castle beamed and raised his glass. "I'll drink to that,"
Kate raised her glass in salute. "To not dying,"
"And us," Kate finished as their glasses clinked together. "Here's to taking chances."
Castle smiled. "To taking chances."