AN: Here's a little one-shot. I'm normally not one for putting lyrics into a fic, but need them to understand the story. thanks to Ky for the beta! As always, constructive criticism is welcome.
Disclaimer: I don't own Castle or the lyrics to "I'll Try"
I am not a child now
I can take of myself
I mustn't let them down now
Mustn't let them see me cry
"I'll Try" –Jonatha Brooke
Kate rolled her shopping cart down the supermarket aisle, her steps slow and deliberate, as she searched the shelves for the next item on her list. However, her mind really wasn't on the cans, her mind was drifting, back to a time where her family was happy, together and living. The last time she was here it had been with her mother during winter break, shopping for Christmas dinner. Her and her father had not been out since, generally doing delivery or receiving some meals from neighbors. Kate swallowed and blinked back the tears she knows are coming. God, it had only been a month since her death, and yet it seemed so long ago since Kate had seen or heard from her mom.
Kate shook her head, trying to clear the thoughts of her mother, even if it was just for a little while. She made a move to grab a can of string beans from the shelf, but was stopped by a familiar voice.
"Hello, Kate, dear," a kind voice said.
Kate turned to see Mrs. Johnson, the elderly woman who lived in the apartment across from her parents, staring at her.
"Hello, Mrs. Johnson," she greeted politely, plastering a small smile on her face.
Mrs. Johnson's eyes scrutinized Kate's features, before asking,
"How are you?" Pity was clear in the woman's eyes and Kate's grip tightened on the handle of her cart. She hated being pitied.
"I'm fine." She offered a tight lipped smile.
"How is your father?" Mrs. Johnson pressed.
Drunk off his ass, Kate thought bitterly.
"He's fine," she lied.
"I am sorry about what happened to you," the elderly woman said. "It must be hard to have her gone. It was the same way for me when my husband died two years ago."
Kate swallowed the lump in her throat, and bit down her retort. The two situations weren't even similar. The woman didn't know what it was like to have the one precious thing in life ripped away so suddenly. Mr. Johnson had been sick and they knew he was going to die; they'd had time to prepare. She didn't come home to the police at her door and then discovering that her loved one had been left in a pile of garbage to rot. Kate felt her blood boil, but tried to calm herself. Instead of saying what she thought, Kate settled with,
"We're coping." Mrs. Johnson didn't need to know what Jim Beckett's form of coping was.
"Well, if you need help with anything, just let me know."
"Thank you, but we can manage ourselves," Kate replied shortly. She needed to get out of here before she burst into tears.
"I guess I will see you around then," Mrs. Johnson said hesitantly, beginning to walk away. Kate just gave her a short nod before wheeling the cart further down the aisle.
The brunette blinked back the moisture from her eyes as her vision became blurry; she really needed to stop crying. Kate forced herself to stop in the middle of the aisle, and she took a deep breath, attempting to calm down.
I'm fine, she chanted in her head. I'm fine.
Little did she know it would be her mantra for the years ahead.
I'm too tired to listen
I'm too old to believe
All these childish stories
There is no such thing as faith
And trust and pixie dust
"Because if you don't believe in even the possibility of magic, you'll never find it."
Castle's words repeated in her head as Kate entered her apartment. It was odd to see that side of him the romantic, sentimental part that the tabloids don't show, or more likely don't know.
The case had been interesting, and Castle's eagerness to support the fact that there were supernatural elements to it had made it even more entertaining, although it did get on her nerves occasionally. What added to the strangeness was that the psychic had told her a man named Alexander was going to be important to her, and bizarrely Castle's middle name happened to be Alexander, which had left her a little stunned. Maybe there was a chance that Castle-
Kate stopped herself mid thought and rolled her eyes. It was probably just a coincidence. After all, she had used numerous psychics earlier on in her career and they had all failed, miserably.
She'd often wound up with dead ends and misinformation when it came to relying on psychics for leads.
As for Castle, it was cute that he believed in magic. Of course, this came as no surprise to her since he believed in mummy curses and ghosts. However, the way he had said those words to her as they left the precinct, they had more sentimental value to them than childish. He was speaking more about the magic of daily life than that of a magician's. He seemed to think that there was magic everywhere, but she did not see the world that way.
Ever since her mother had died and Kate enrolled in the academy, she threw away any notion of happily ever after and seeing beauty in the world. Yes, she did believe in having a 'one and done', but that was as far as it went, and she even had doubts about that. Kate knows the world could be a dark and dangerous place and that bad things could happen to the most unsuspecting people. It was unfortunate, but it was the way the universe worked.
Kate found a child-like innocence in Castle's words and wished she could have that as well. However, that part of her was long gone, left behind when she was forced to see her mother's casket lowered six feet into the ground. She became Kate. Kate was mature, confident, and tough as nails. She could handle anything and hide her emotions well. Katie no longer existed, with the exception of the few times she met up with her father, and even then she was still a little guarded.
She knows that fairy-tales, knights in shining armor, and happy endings weren't real.
She sometimes wishes they did though.
I can finally see it
Now I have to believe
All those precious stories
All the world is made of...
Faith, and trust... and pixie dust
Kate smiled, running a hand over the skirt of her dress. She couldn't believe it, she was getting married and to Richard Castle no less! Despite being engaged for over a year, it still felt a bit surreal to her. However, as she looked at herself in the mirror in their Hampton's home, it was starting to become real. Yes, they planned everything out, from the seating arrangements to their first dance as a married couple, but it hadn't really hit Kate until that very moment, with her in the dress, hair done up in a bun with two curls coming down both sides of her face, and her hand clutching a small bouquet of white lilies.
The journey to get where she was had been long and hard, and she was sure they wouldn't be in the running for any 'couple of the year' awards. However, they loved each other, understood each other, and would do anything for one another, and that was all that mattered. Rick had made her laugh and have fun again. He had also made her believe in magic again, even though she would never admit it.
As she gazed at her reflection, Kate toyed with the necklace hanging around her neck. It was silver with a blue gemstone serving as a pendent. It had been her mom's and her dad had given it to her right before the wedding, saying that she would have wanted her daughter to have it for such an occasion. He had also arrived with the wedding veil her mom had worn, but Kate had declined. She was staring a new life, and with it a new outlook on the world. Yes, she wanted to remember her mother, especially on her wedding day, but she didn't want her mother's absence to be a prominent feature, so she'd decided that the simple pendant was a good way of honoring her memory.
Kate sighed happily, and looking up to the ceiling, she swallowed the lump in her throat to whisper,
"Well, Mom, this is it."
Just then the door opened and her father walked in.
"You look beautiful, Katie," he announced, his voice expressing pride. "She would be so proud of you."
Kate smiled a bittersweet smile. "Thanks, and I hope so."
"Rick's a lucky man," he continued.
"We're both lucky," she replied softly, looking out the window toward the beach where her future husband was waiting for her. She was definitely lucky.
"Ready to go?" he asked, holding out an arm.
Kate nodded, looping hers through his. They headed out of the room and Kate felt herself growing nervous, but also very giddy. They walked down to the backdoor, down the path to the beach where the ceremony was held.
And to where her happily ever after would begin.
AN: The song is on youtube if you want to hear , I cut off two sections of the song since I couldn't figure out how to make them work. Anyway, thanks again to Ky for the beta and always having patience with me. As always, constructive criticism is welcome.