A/N: I just want to say that this fic, I wrote mainly because I couldn't get the thought out of my head. This fic contains attempted suicide and by that I mean, standing on the side of the bridge wanting to jump off, but being talked down type of attempted suicide. I am aware many people don't like things like these and that's completely okay, because I'm writing this for me. So if suicide bothers you, please don't read this. If you want to read this, well… Continue, but like I said, doing this one for me.
She felt hopeless and lost. She had been wondering around the city for the longest while. It had started to rain and while others around her ran for shelter, not wanting to ruin their clothes or hairstyles or whatever it was they were running from, she remained, walking slowly down the streets as the rain beat down on her. At least this way, no one knew the difference between the tears running down her face and the drops of water that bruised her skin. Not that anyone cared.
She continued walking, not caring as cars passed by splashing her, or as children pointed, asking their guardians why she wasn't running too. Running, she learnt, got you nowhere and one day, it would all just catch up to you, so why run?
She walked until the rain ceased and the sun fought to shine through the bleak clouds that filled the sky. That was her life now, bleak clouds, with spurts of rain, causing everyone to run. She wished she had that ray of sunshine that tried to shine through, that people loved to be around, but she didn't and that's all she was, bleak, heavy clouds.
She didn't realize how much time she had spent walking until she looked up and realized it was evening, the sky was a light purple colour as the sun set and the lights from the city filled the sky. It would be a beautiful sight, if only she believed in beauty. She only believed black and white, there was no beauty in her world.
It had been five months since January 9th, five months of pain, hopelessness and desolation. She lost her mother, for a reason she didn't know, if there was any. Months since the detective met them at their door and told them the news, ruining the rest of their lives, she could still hear the words the detective told them, burning through her memory, a memory she only wished she could forget. She wished this was a nightmare and she would wake up and it would all be a lie and her mother was still here. But it had been months, it wasn't a dream.
It had been four months since she lost her father. He held on for a month, for her maybe, maybe not. A month until he befriended the bottle and never came back. She tried to help him, tried to be there for him like he needed him to be there for her, but he wouldn't give it up, he couldn't. So she did, she gave up. She lost both of her parents over the death of one and she didn't know if she could go on living with this burden.
It was nights like these she dreaded the most, nights that held special meaning, nights that at some point in time she and her family did something special, but now she had no family and there was nothing special. She felt empty and lost, she just wanted someone to hold her and be there for her, rather than to be walking around the streets of New York alone.
She hated this feeling and wondered what could life possibly have in store for her, or would she end up dead too? Figuratively and literally. She had been having thoughts lately, thoughts of ending it, why not? She would think to herself, there really wasn't any reason to continue on like this. It was too much for her on her own and she wanted to leave this tired, hopeless feeling behind. She could see her mother again and everything would be fine. God knows she wasn't fine now.
Maybe she should, there wasn't anyone to tell her not to. This was New York anyways, if anyone saw anything, she was sure they would just continue walking, not wanting to burden themselves with someone else's problems and they shouldn't have to.
She stopped walking and looked up at the sky, wondering where her mother was now. She closed her eyes and exhaled. When she opened them, she realized where she had walked to, the Triborough Bridge. Maybe she should.
Another book signing, another after party, another scandal of who he was dating, another page 6 headline. He was tired and he just wanted to get home to his Alexis, his five year old who could always put a smile on his face no matter what, she was his world and he couldn't wait to get home to her.
He got into the car and shut his eyes, inhaling deeply, feeling the stress of the day heavy on his shoulders. He wanted to get home and relax in his Jacuzzi and listen to his angel tell him all about her day, but he opened his eyes and realized he may not get to do that in all this traffic. He groaned and covered his face with his hand, frustrated.
"You okay back there sir?" His driver asked.
"Yea, yea, just tired." He responded, looking out the window.
He sat up in his seat when he saw a girl, no older than 19 on the other side of the bridge, barely visible to motorist. He squinted, just to make sure he wasn't seeing things, there was an actual human being on the other side of the bridge and what was she doing. He looked around and saw no one even looking in her direction, immediately he thought of his little girl and ordered his driver to stop.
"Sir?" He asked, confused.
"Call 911, tell them to get here immediately, someone's gonna jump off that bridge." He instructed his driver and got out of the car.
He made his way through the traffic to the edge of the bridge and looked over, sure enough, there was a girl there, holding on loosely, staring down at the water below. He contemplated calling out to her, but didn't want to startle her and have her let go, but then again, he didn't want to wait and have emergency personnel show up too late, so he took the chance.
"Hey." He called quietly.
She looked up at him, her eyes were red and her cheeks stained from tears. She looked like she had been through more than a girl her age should and he felt it for her.
"What are you doing over there?" He asked softly, trying to make her trust him enough to talk and not jump.
"Go away." She mumbled and looked down again.
He heard the sound of sirens in the distance and felt relieved that it they were arriving quickly and maybe this situation wouldn't get out of hand.
"I'll only go away if you come back over here." He said.
"Don't you have a book to go write?" She retorted.
"You know me?" He asked, surprised, maybe he could use this to get her back over.
"You're Richard Castle aren't you?"
She didn't respond for a while and simply stared down, loosening her grip on the rails and tightening it again and then loosening it. She looked unsure, she didn't want to do this, he could tell by the way she kept tightening her grip, but there was something she was running from, something she didn't want to live with or face, something that kept her loosening her grip.
"Why are you here?" She asked.
"Well, I saw you on the wrong side of the bridge and got a bit worried." He told her honestly.
She looked up at him again, her eyes wide and frightened and he wished he could reach her, he wouldn't hesitate to reach down and pull her over, but he couldn't.
"Why do you care?" She looked back down and loosened her grip.
"Because I have a little girl and I love her very much, in fact I was just going home to her when I saw you and I thought of her and how I would hate for her to be in this situation and no one came to her to help and I figured you must be somebody's little girl, I couldn't just drive away and leave you." He told her.
She tightened her grip.
"You don't want to do this." He said.
"Yes I do."
He felt someone touch his shoulder and he turned to see an entire crew of emergency workers set up behind him, blocking off traffic and news reporters.
"We need you to step away from the rail sir." The man said.
"I'd rather stay." He told the man calmly.
"Do you know her?" He asked.
"No, but – "
"Then it's policy for you to step back behind the yellow line and let us do our jobs here." He told him.
Castle looked down at the girl again as she loosened her grip again and he decided he would comply and not waste time fighting the rules, maybe they could help her in ways he couldn't.
He nodded and stepped back as another man dressed in plain clothes took his place and began talking to her.
He stood behind the yellow line, watching intently, feeling the need to be close to her, to make sure she was okay and he didn't know where this need came from. He took a seat close by the tape and took out his phone, dialling his mother's number.
"Richard, where are you? I've been calling your phone all night." His mother answered.
"Mother, I'm going to need you to watch Alexis for the rest of the night." He got right to the point.
"No problem." She agreed immediately, hearing the serious tone of his voice, "Is everything alright dear?"
He closed his eyes, "I'm on the Triborough Bridge and – "
"Oh yes! That's all over the news. A girl on the side of the bridge, poor kid. Are you stuck in the traffic?"
"No mother, I was helping her, told my driver to call the emergency services, they just came and are dealing with things, I don't know if I'm going to be able to leave now." He told her.
"Oh of course dear, you do what you can, I'll watch Alexis. She's fast asleep anyways." His mother told him.
"Thanks." He sighed.
"Sure thing kiddo, be safe." She told him before he hung up and dropped his face into his hands, worry taking over, worry for a girl he only just met.
He remained by the tape for the next hour, watching the guy talk to the girl over the rail. He didn't even know her name, he thought to himself. He wondered if they were making any progress, but as he saw the same man who told him to clear the area come over to him, he knew they weren't.
"Richard Castle?" He called.
He stood, "Yea?"
"She wants you." He told him.
"Me?" He was surprised, "Why?"
The guy shrugged, "Don't know, she won't talk to our guy, says she'll only talk to you."
He wasted no time and ducked under the tape, practically running back over the her, leaning over the rail and emergency workers strapped him into safety gear and attached a cord to him in case of anything.
"Hey." He said, she looked up and tightened her grip.
He could see the relief wash over her face when she saw him.
"Make the others go away." She told him.
He looked around at the men surrounding him and the wordlessly backed away, not too far in case anything went wrong, but far enough so they weren't crowding her.
"You wanted me?" He asked.
"Your daughter, tell me about her." She requested.
He looked at her confused, why would she be asking about his kid? He questioned it for a moment, but then decided to talk, if this was what kept her from letting go then he'd do it.
"Her name is Alexis, she's five. She has red hair and blue eyes, she got her hair from her mom. She's the smartest, most responsible nine year old you will ever meet. Sometimes she has to parent me." He laughed at the memory of his child scolding him for eating candy before dinner. "She's my everything."
"She sounds great." She said.
"She is." He agreed.
"Tell me something," He spoke, "What's your name?"
She looked up at him, "Katherine Beckett, but everyone just calls me Kate." She told him.
"Kate, that's a pretty name." He smiled.
"Alexis' mom, do you live with her?" She asked, ignoring his compliment and loosening her grip.
What was with her sudden interest in his kid? He wondered to himself.
"No, she uh - she lives in LA." He told her.
"Does she visit?"
"Not as much as she should." He said a little too bitterly.
She looked up at him, "That bothers you?" She asked.
"Not so much for me, but for Alexis. Meredith and I got married after we found out she was pregnant with Alexis, I figured it was the right thing to do at the time. But then when Alexis was born, it just didn't work, she cared more about her career than her own kid, she wasn't fit to be a mother, so we divorced and I got sole custody. Alexis asks about her mom every day and why she doesn't visit. She thinks her mother hates her and that's what bothers me, every child should have their mother."
He could tell he hit a nerve in the way she drew in a breath quickly and leaned a little farther over.
"Do you have a mom?" He asked, sensing that was the issue.
"No." She said quietly.
His face fell and his heart broke, she didn't have a mom, was that why she was here today, staring death in the face? He turned around and looked at the men standing there, waiting to make any move and he made a decision.
He climbed up on the rail and the men rushed forward, but he waved them off, he was strapped and attached to a rope, he was fine.
"What are you doing?" She asked, staring at him incredulously as he came to stand beside her, "Get back over there, what if you fall? You have a daughter!"
"It's okay, I'm safe and yes I have a daughter. So why are you over here? Don't you have anyone?" He asked softly.
She looked away from him as her eyes filled with tears and shook her head.
"Your mother," He started slowly, "What happened to her?"
She drew in a shaky breath and looked back at him, "She was stabbed, five months ago. She was supposed to meet us for dinner at this restaurant, my dad and I stayed there for hours but she didn't show. We figured she'd forgotten and just went home, so we left and –"Her voice broke and she hung her head, her hair forming a curtain around her face.
"There was a detective waiting for us, Detective Raglan, he told us the news, and how they found her stabbed to death in an alley and we still don't know why." She finished, her voice barely above a whisper.
"Oh Kate, I'm so sorry." He said, wishing he could reach out to her, she looked like she needed a hug. When was the last time she even got one of those.
"What about your dad?" He asked.
She laughed, "My dad, he was devastated, but he was here for at least a month and then he turned to alcohol and I never got him back."
"So you're alone." He concluded and she nodded, fighting to hold back the tears in her eyes. "Is that why you're here?"
She nodded again.
"Kate" He said softly.
"I don't know what else to do." She admitted, "I don't want to feel this way anymore. What do I have to live for? I don't have anyone or anything, there's no reason for me to live." She let one hand go, holding herself up loosely with her other hand.
His heart sped up when she let go and he moved towards her.
"Kate, please hold on." He pleaded with her.
She looked at him and empty look on her face, "Why? What reason do I have?"
"You have plenty to live for, you look young, you have so much left to experience. You have the rest of your family, your friends, your future, you can't just let it go like this Kate. Your mother, think of her, is this what she would want?"
She scoffed at the mention on friends and family.
"If I do this, I'll get to see her, my mom, that's where I want to be." She said, looking down.
He moved closer to her, trying to get close enough to hold on to her.
"No, this isn't what you want Kate, I can see that. You want someone to save you, you want someone to show you that they care Kate and I do, I care and I'm begging you please just don't do this."
She looked up at him, "Why? Why do you care? You don't even know me."
"No, I don't. But I know people Kate and I can see there's more to you that meets the eye and I just know you're going to grow to be someone great, but you'll never know if you just throw your life away like this."
She stared at him for a long moment, before she raised her hand and held on again. He released the breath he had been holding, they were still standing on the edge of a bridge, but at least she was holding on with both hands again.
"Your books," She started.
"What about them?" He asked, just needing to keep her talking.
"They saved me for those months." She told him, "I came to one of your book signings, I doubt you remember me, but your books kept me going. They kept me company in those months when no one else did. You saved me once, before you knew me and here you are again, trying to save me."
"I'm glad I could be there for you before I knew you, maybe it's fate that I'm here right now, to save you again, because I'm not leaving until you are safe on the right side of the bridge." He told her, his voice determined.
"I don't even have anywhere to go." She said.
"You can stay with me if you want to, I'm sure Alexis would be thrilled to meet you." He offered, before he knew what he was saying.
He didn't take it back though, nor did he want to. There was something about Kate that was worth it and he'd be damned if he didn't save her tonight and she could stay with him as long as she needed.
"But you don't know me." She said again.
"I know you need someone Kate, you don't have anyone and I am more than willing to be there if you need me to be."
She looked down and fell silent, before looking back up to him.
"Okay." She agreed.
"Okay?" He asked, relieved.
"You're gonna come off of here and come with me?" He asked.
She nodded, "I really don't want to do this."
"I didn't think you did." He said moving over, carefully to her.
He wrapped his arm around her waist and she let go of the railing and held on to him tightly. He closed his eyes and exhaled, grateful for how this was going, it could have been much worse.
He tugged on the cord attached to him and he felt himself being pulled up over the railing, holding on to her tightly.
They pulled them up over the rail and rushed over to them, rushing her to an ambulance to check her out. Suddenly he felt very tired, the day catching up to him and he just wanted to go home and sleep. He waited until the emergency workers checked her out and released her into his care.
He hailed a cab and gave them directions to his house. She was silent for the ride and so was he, he figured she would speak if she wanted to. The cab pulled up to his place and they got out of the car and made their way through the lobby to the elevator.
He glanced at her, she looked nervous, she had her arms wrapped tightly around her body and had her bottom lip between her teeth.
"Hey." He said softly.
She jumped, not expecting him to speak.
"You okay?" He asked.
She stared at the elevator doors as they opened on to his floor, "Not really."
He placed a hand on her back and lead her to his door, opening it and stepping inside, indicating for her to enter. She stepped inside and stood awkwardly, looking around the place.
"Oh Richard! You're home and oh! Who is this?" Martha came down the stairs.
"Mother, can I talk to you for a second?" He requested, gesturing with his head to his office.
"Sure." She said and made her way to the office.
"Please, take a seat, I'll be right back." He told her, showing her the couch.
She nodded and moved slowly to the couch, taking a seat.
He went into his office and shut the door, turning to face his mother.
"That's her." He told her.
"That's who?" She asked confused.
"The girl on the bridge, that's her, Kate." He said, "She didn't have anywhere else to go."
"Oh Richard, you don't need to explain to me, this is your home, just – is it safe to have her around Alexis?" She asked.
"She's not a bad person, she's just … alone. Her mother died and her dad is into alcohol, I can help her mother." He said.
"I know you can Richard, always helping people with that big heart of yours. Okay, well, I'm just gonna head out. Alexis is asleep, I hope she'll be okay." She said.
"Yea, me too." He agreed as he followed her out of his office.
"Goodnight Kate." Martha called out.
"Goodnight." Kate answered.
Castle shut the door and turned to face Kate, who was now standing.
"I'm sorry, I should go, I shouldn't have come here." She said.
"Where are you gonna go?" He asked, stepping closer to her.
"I –I don't know, but I should just get out of your way, you've done enough for me." She said.
"It's no problem Kate, you have nowhere to go and I have an extra bed, good food, let me help you." He said.
She stood staring at him for a while before she threw her arms around him and he responded instantly. Hugging her tightly to his body, he had wondered when the last time she got a proper hug was. She held on to him, burying her face in his chest and she remained there for a good while and he was fine t just hold her and offer her any comfort he could.
"Thank you." She said eventually, "For saving me… again."
"It's no problem." He smiled.
She let him go and stepped back, looking embarrassed.
"Hey," He said, reaching out and making her look up at him, "There's no need to be embarrassed, I love giving out hugs." He said, proving his point as he pulled her in for another hug.
"You should get some sleep, if you want I can cook you something." He offered.
She shook her head, "All I need is a shower and sleep."
He nodded, "I'll show you to the guest room, there's a shower in there and I'll see if I can find you something to wear. While you shower, I'll fix some mac n' cheese, you can't say no to that."
She smiled, "Okay deal."
"Great, come on." He said, leading her up the stairs to the guest room, just happy to have been able to help someone today.
"Hey Castle." She called, he turned to her.
"Just – thanks for everything, for saving me." She said.
He smiled, "Always."
End A/N: No one is alone.