Author: purplangel PM
A different, *Alternate ending to Always.* For my hubby who wishes that Rick would have had the nerve to tell Kate to take a flying leap for the hell she put him through during season 4 and kicked her out the front door instead of mauling her against it, lol... but I couldn't quite make it that angsty/dramatic.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Romance - Rick C. & Kate B. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 9,308 - Reviews: 49 - Favs: 45 - Follows: 63 - Updated: 10-09-12 - Published: 09-22-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8547482
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Story starts in 'Always' after the emotional scene in Kate's apartment.
God dammit, Rick shut Kate's apartment door forcefully behind him.
It was over. Over.
He ran a shaky hand through his hair and quickly hurried to Kate's elevator to get out of the building. He had to get away from her. He had to put as much distance between them as possible.
His heart couldn't take any more abuse.
He'd just told Katherine Beckett that he loved her… And her response? Absolutely nothing, not a God damn thing out of her sultry mouth… No shocked expression; no happiness in her eyes; no feeling from her whatsoever. Her body didn't even move. She stood staring at him with straight shoulders and a blank expression on her face, mouth slightly ajar in disbelief, … not in shock or astonishment, … just plain disbelief that he'd finally had the courage to tell her to her face that he loved her.
It sickened him to think that when he first walked into her apartment she had reminded him of an angel. A lovely, ethereal angel with a heart of gold in a white, button-down blouse, wavy, light-brown hair and rosy cheeks… An angel who had the power to crush his soul. He laughed cynically. Who would've thought that she'd end up being a destroying one?
I'm such a fool.
He took a deep breath and tried to calm his frazzled nerves. He didn't even realize the elevator had reached the ground floor until someone walked into the box and stared at him quizzically. "You getting off, son?" The elderly, hunched man asked him.
"Yes, - sorry," came his hasty reply and he nodded to the older gentleman as he stepped off the elevator.
We're done, he thought once more in anguish. He couldn't handle the roller coaster of emotions she brought into his life. His heart couldn't take being stomped on one more time by her sexy-as-hell, four inch heels.
As he walked out of her apartment complex into the overcast afternoon, Rick thought how befitting it was that a storm was approaching; a storm to match his own inner turmoil.
Sitting in the back seat of the cab, he couldn't help replaying the scene over and over again in his mind.
After confessing his love to her and looking at her dumbstruck expression, Rick knew she wouldn't say anything to his declaration, so he tried to express some of his own pain.
"But you already know that I love you, don't you? … You've known for about a year."
He'd never forget the wounded expression on her face when he tried to turn the tables back on her with that question, trying to make her feel some remorse for being the cause of his unbearable suffering these past two months due to her lie.
But it only fueled her righteous anger. She started spouting off about him betraying her; asking how he could have withheld from her vital information about her mother's case, and now, how was she supposed to trust anything he said?
It cut him to the core. How in the world could Kate think that he had betrayed her when all he had ever done was try to keep her safe? How could she have said that she couldn't trust anything that came out of his mouth? Did he really mean that little to her?
After all that we've been through… I've been here this whole time… Four years just waiting, dreaming for a chance with her, and for what? A few lingering glances, occasionally a meaningful touch, or an entrancing smile?
He hated himself for being led-on by her flirty banter, her dazzling smile and lilting laughter. He hated himself for being a succor to her charms.
Castle couldn't believe he trusted her when she said therapy was helping and causing that damn wall of hers to start crumbling down... It just wasn't going to happen for them and the sooner he faced the facts, the better off he'd be.
He felt a freezing frost crackle in his veins as he remembered, "I love you Kate and if that means anything to you, if you care about me at all, just don't do this."
Her cold eyes and frustrated tone sliced completely through him, shaking him. "If I care for you at all, Castle?"
The spike on her heel took one last shot to his heart.
"You cut a deal for my life as if I was some kind of child. It's my life. Mine… You don't get to decide."
"They're going to come for you, Kate."
"Let them come. I am ready… If they want a war, then I will bring them a war, … straight to their doorstep."
There was never any question about the lengths she would go to to solve her mother's case. They both knew she was obsessed with finding justice. So why would asking her to stop looking into Johanna's murder because he loved her make a difference? It wouldn't. He never had a chance in hell of changing her mind, and he was a fool for believing otherwise.
It hurt more than he thought imaginable hearing the words come out of her mouth that confirmed what he'd always known to be true… She didn't care enough about him… She would always choose Johanna over him... He would never come first in her life.
"Well, I guess there's just nothing I can say is there?" He said in defeat… "Yeah Kate, you're right. It's your life. You can throw it away if you want, but I'm not going to stick around and watch you. So, this is, uh, over… I'm done."
His heart broke as he realized that the agony he felt these last two months was justifiable. She didn't tell him she heard him that day in the cemetery because she didn't love him and by her words and actions today, Rick knew she never would.
Thank God for Alexis. She gave him purpose. She made him happy. He was grateful to have her graduation to attend tonight so he could hopefully lose himself in his daughter's accomplishment, bask in her joy and happiness… And hopefully, tonight, if he was lucky, he'd start the process of purging Katherine Beckett out of his heart. Forever.
He didn't think a father could ever be prouder of their child. His heart swelled with pride at Alexis's remarkable speech… Unfortunately though, it further tore at his heart strings with how poetic it was concerning his relationship with Kate. "Endings are inevitable. You close the book. You say goodbye. Today is one of those days for us. We're moving on. But just because we're leaving, (and that hurts) there are some people who are so much a part of us, that they will be with us no matter what."
Kate Beckett was no longer his solid ground, his north star. His 'always' with her was now shattered, and he determined to get over her at any cost.
As he talked to Alexis on the phone later that night, he reassured her that he would be fine. He encouraged her to have fun and let her know that he wouldn't worry about her until lunchtime tomorrow.
I will; I really will be fine… I will get past this, I will get over her.
When he saw Kate's incoming call on his cell phone he immediately hit the ignore button. He didn't want to hear what she might have to say...
And as Rick dragged Kate's picture on his smart board into the trash bin, he hoped it was the beginning to deleting her permanently out of his life, his heart and soul.
He took a deep breath and swallowed heavily just as there was a knock at the door.
Who would've tackled the raging storm this late at night?
He flung open the door and was shocked to see a very wet Kate Beckett looking at him with sorrowful eyes.
God, she was still the most beautiful woman he'd ever laid eyes on even looking thoroughly exhausted and half-drowned due to the storm outside. His face hardened and he spoke rigidly, "Beckett, what do you want?" He did not want to talk to her right now. His wounds were still fresh, too raw from their earlier encounter, but courtesy prevented him from slamming the door in her face.
He was blown away by her reply.
Her delicate hands were suddenly on his cheeks before he even realized what was happening and then, shit, her soft lips were pressed urgently against his. He could barely think straight as her mouth moved suggestively over his. Kate drew slightly away from him to rest her cold forehead against his and breathed in deeply before saying, "I'm so sorry, Castle… I'm so sorry… I'm so sorry." She repeated as if it was a healing mantra. She leaned in with flushed cheeks and wanton eyes to kiss him again.
Rick grabbed her forearms to stop her progression as he needed the space to think. He briefly wondered how in the world she could still smell like cherries with her hair wet from the rain.
"What happened?" He asked firmly, unable to hide the skepticism in his voice as he wondered about the real reason she'd actually shown up on his doorstep.
"He got away, and I didn't care." Her quiet voice burned with truth and her eyes silently begged him to believe her as a lone tear streaked down her cheek.
"I almost died and all I could think about was you." Her intense hazel eyes bore into his soul before they dropped to look hungrily at his lips. She whispered breathily, "I just want you."
Kate's mouth opened sensuously as she leaned in about to devour him, but she stopped at the indecision on his face, at the haunted look in his eyes. Her fingers rose to stroke softly the side of his cheek, meant to reassure, but surprisingly, it had the opposite effect.
Her hopes were dashed as his eyes darkened in anger and she realized she didn't say or do the right thing.
Rick scoffed and shoved her away from him, needing distance from her alluring mouth, addicting scent and mesmerizing eyes.
"You just want - me?" He spat; the derision in his voice sent a lightning bolt of fear striking through her body.
"That's a joke, Ka - ... Beckett," and it stung when she realized he'd purposefully chosen not to call her by her given name.
"Don't insult my intelligence. You could've had me at any time in the past 4 years… You don't want me." His face curled in regret. "The only thing you truly care about is solving your mom's murder."
"Castle, please listen," she pleaded; her heart rate skyrocketed as she realized the importance of finding the right words to make him believe her. "I won't deny that a huge part of my life has been focused on finding closure for my mother, but that doesn't diminish the fact that I care about you, - deeply." Her eyes searched for his but he refused to look at her. "I regret the way I treated you earlier… I know you, Rick. I –" she paused and reached out to grab his hand but he quickly shirked away from her as if offended by her touch. "I know that you were only trying to protect me by keeping Mr. Smith a secret. I shouldn't have ever said that I couldn't trust you." She bit down on her lip nervously. "I'm so sorry. I do trust you, … implicitly. Please forgive me."
Rick's jaw clenched; his hands balled into tight fists as his sides. "I wish it was as simple as forgiveness," he ground out with hollow eyes. "Too much has happened between us for me to just brush off your earlier callousness." He looked shaken as he gazed into her watery eyes. "Now is not the time to discuss this. Go home, Beckett." He said with finality. "Go home and change your clothes. You need to get warm, eat something and get some sleep. You look like you're ready to collapse."
She smiled softly at his concern. Even though he was understandably upset by her earlier actions, he was still worried about her, wanting her to take care of herself.
"No," she said firmly in her detective tone which brooked no argument. "I won't leave until you've heard everything I've come to say."
"You don't understand," he said bitterly, anger rising to the surface, coursing through his bloodstream. "I don't want you here. You're not welcome."
Kate flinched at his response, knowing full well that he was telling the truth. Right now, she was not welcome in his home and her heart felt bruised with the weight of that knowledge.
God, help me to fix this.
He turned his back to her and started walking towards the kitchen.
She ignored his command.
Kate's earlier hope knowing he was still concerned about her turned to underlying panic. There was no way in hell that she was going to let him throw her out. She was not going to let him wallow in self pity and pain that she had caused.
"I had an epiphany this afternoon," she said tentatively while following him into the kitchen. "I was fighting Maddox on the rooftop of the hotel, seriously getting my ass kicked… He knocked me down to my knees and," she took a deep breath, "I'm ashamed to say, I practically begged him to tell me who was behind my mom's murder." She hesitated, wondering if he was listening to her or only tolerating her presence.
She watched as he opened up a cabinet above the refrigerator. She couldn't help but admire the way his maroon dress shirt stretched taut over his broad shoulders and muscular back as he reached up into the cupboard to remove an expensive bottle of brandy. She licked her dry lips as his round, firm ass was perfectly displayed a couple of feet in front of her.
I'd hoped to be ravishing him right now, not begging him for understanding. I can't mess this up.
He turned to her with the brandy in one hand and 2 shot glasses in the other. "I badly need a drink." He set the glasses down on the island and popped the cork.
He said dryly, "Alexis would be ashamed if I didn't act the proper host and offer you one." His eyebrow quirked, asking without words if she'd like a drink as well.
Kate sat down on a barstool and shook her head, 'no'. She noticeably shivered, and it wasn't just from being soaked from the rain that brought on the chill.
He poured brandy into both glasses and systematically gulped one, then the other, in less than a minute, … not caring what she thought about him at the moment.
He needed the invigorating burn to start making him forget… Forget her heavenly smell, her wide, beautiful eyes, … make him forget her tempting, model body that was sitting right in front of him, shivering.
Dammit, he didn't want her here where it would be so easy to fall into temptation, so easy to just lean over the island and snatch those alluring lips of hers and lose himself within their warm depths. He knew he'd only be setting his heart up for further torment if he believed her excuses, believed she could ever care for him more than just a friend, a partner.
"You should have a drink to ward off the chill. It will help you to warm up."
"No, thank you."
He really should offer her some dry clothes to change into, but in his current state of mind, he couldn't handle thinking about her undressing that sinfully, sexy body in the next room.
Fuck, she sure had done a number on him. Well, no more.
He poured a third glass of liquor and Kate put her hand over the top of the other glass to prevent him from pouring a fourth. He scowled at her.
"Please give me your undivided attention, Castle, and then I'll leave… I promise that I'll leave you alone after you hear me out."
He downed the third glass and stared at her with frozen, unforgiving eyes. It was at that point she grasped the full meaning of how much pain she'd caused him. How he'd walked out of her apartment earlier today a broken man fully believing that she didn't care about him.
What have I done?
"So did you get the answers you were looking for from Maddox?" His grip tightened around the scotch glass and it wouldn't have surprised Kate in the least if it shattered.
"No. He mocked me by saying that I was wasting my time, that I had no idea who I was up against… I tried one last time to take him down, only to be thrown off the rooftop like I weighed nothing more than a rag doll."
Castle's eyes flashed with empathy as he pictured her hanging with her fingertips from the rooftop.
"As I hung there for dear life, there was only one person I thought of." Her eyes never wavered from his as her voice slid dangerously low, trying to draw him in, trying to communicate with him on an emotional level. "Only one person who I wanted to be there by my side… Only one person I called out for, and that was – you."
She tried to convey through her voice what that revelation meant to her, tried to convey through her eyes that she now chose him over anything else in her life, … over her mother's case, over her career.
"I called your name over and over again, thinking that this couldn't possibly be the end. I had to see you one more time to tell you how I felt… I had to be with you again." Another tear escaped from her eye and Kate hastily brushed it away from her cheek. "I wanted to live for you, Castle."
His expression clearly said that he was leery about believing her, but he asked meekly, "Who saved you?"
"Ryan… Ryan went behind mine and Espo's back and told Gates about the investigation… They arrived just in time… Ryan grabbed my wrist just as my hands slipped. I would have fallen to my death if it hadn't been for Kevin."
Rick was clearly shaken by her statement. He paced the small kitchen area while his thoughts ran rampant. His hand scraped through his scalp.
She longed to reach out and smooth his tousled hair back into place but knew he wouldn't allow it. Things were just too shaky between them right now.
"Castle," she said sincerely, "Nearly dying today showed me how I truly feel about you." She nervously wrung her hands together. "I'd do anything to go back in time to change how I reacted to you today. Please forgive me. Give me a chance to prove that I only want you." She chewed on the inside of her cheek due to the uncertainty she was feeling. "Please believe me when I say I need you in every aspect of my life."
Rick was completely still, deadly quiet.
She looked at his squared shoulders and stiff body posture and knew before anything came out of his mouth what he'd decided. Fresh tears welled up in her eyes.
Before he could speak, she choked out, "I want a chance at us, Rick. Please… Let me prove it to you." She got off from the stool and gingerly approached him.
His glare softened but his face still bore the anguish of her earlier betrayal. "Stop Kate. Don't touch me." He backed away from her so she wasn't within touching distance. He didn't think his resolve would last if he felt her fingertips anywhere on his body.
"I'm so grateful you're alive, ... truly grateful. I'm thankful as well that Ryan had the guts to go against you and Espo and involve Gates." He looked at her with smoky, anguished eyes. "But I need time, Beckett. I need time to process what you've told me… I need time to forgive." His voice begged her to understand what he was going through. "I need time to find hope for us again."
She looked like an adorable, lost puppy with her wet, straggly hair and sorrowful hazel eyes. He knew it had taken great courage for her to come to his place tonight and bear her feelings… He knew that he'd hurt her with his truthful responses, but his heart was too fragile right now and needed time to heal.
She squeaked out, "I understand… Will you answer your phone if I call tomorrow?"
"Don't call; text me."
She nodded and slowly traipsed out of his kitchen towards the door.
She turned to him fully before saying, "I hope that what I'm about to say proves to you that I'm now ready to put my mother's case behind me and make you, make us, my top priority."
He smirked as he honestly didn't think she could say anything that would make him believe that that would ever be the case.
"I quit the force tonight and turned in my badge. I'm no longer a detective." She looked at him longingly, … then turned and disappeared through the door, shutting it firmly behind her.
And with that, Rick Castle slumped to the floor, held his head in his hands and fought back the tears; … for his muse had just told him the one and only thing to make him believe in her again, believe in them.