Disclaimer- I still don't own Castle, Andrew Marlowe does, and I don't want him to sue me for playing in his sandbox. I'm just having fun, I make no moneys.

I laid there on the OB GYN's examining table and counted the dots in the ceiling.

Fifty-eight, fifty-nine- oof!

Something really cold and wide had been stuck inside. I heard the ominous click click click and winced with the pain of being stretched wide open by the speculum. If I wanted to get my junk stretched out, I'd have slept with a porn star with a twelve-inch penis. I'm sorry, I really can't believe that the actresses in porn enjoy getting fucked. I certainly wouldn't.

"Almost done, Kate," my OB GYN said. "Take in a deep breath and relax."

"Ow!" I grunted as the speculum opened my cervix. I blinked back tears. It wasn't just the pain, it was the humiliation.

I had always known I had a little bit of endometriosis since I was fifteen. My periods had never been comfortable. I had spent most of my life on the pill to calm the pain down and function as a normal adult. I didn't tell many people; only Laney knew. Period were still a bitch to me. Then, there was Castle. Yeah, he had a big dick, but he wasn't King Dong, you know? But he was also older. Older sperm was known for being a little weak in the numbers, but he still had the capability of impregnating me. My body, for the last year, hadn't responded right. There was a possibility I had had a few conceptions, but they hadn't last long. I knew of one: six weeks. That was a heart-breaking loss when I felt something, like a thread breaking inside me, and suddenly blood rushing down my legs, and I had been wearing a favorite pair of pants I had gotten at Anne Taylor LOFT, they were ruined, I never got the blood out, I ended up tossing them down the trash chute a few days later. And the cramps… They had been the worst. My fertility specialist told us that we couldn't conceive on our own and I needed some fertility help if I ever wanted to have a baby. About six months ago, Castle had been stabbing me in the ass with nightly FSH hormone shots that hadn't been comfortable and they had harvested 6 mature eggs. Castle had had the easy part of this procedure in the 'deposit closet' or 'masturbatorium' as we joked, although it wasn't really funny. He tried to make me smile, although this procedure was freaking awful. I had been through six rounds of this, but none of them ever implanted. This was our last chance before I had to go to try that awful FSH hormone treatment again.

A moment later, I heard the click click click and I breathed a sigh of relief.

"Alright Kate," my doctor said. "Good job. I want you to take it easy the next few days and come back for the regular blood test in ten. And no sex or alcohol either."

I nodded, clamping my legs together. I didn't mind giving up those things for a few days.

"You can get dressed," he said, standing up, disposing of his plastic gloves. I waited until they had left the room to sit up. I took a few deep breaths and wiped my tears. I didn't cry. Well, not often.

I had spent the weekend on the couch in yoga pants and a hoodie while Castle made meals for me. Alexis had come by from her new apartment with laundry, and she had joined us for a few meals. We had let her know what was going on about six months ago, and she had kept it secret for long enough. "I guess you guys really want a baby if you're trying this hard," she said as I sipped my water instead of wine over a steak.

"I hated taking a vacation day on Friday," I admitted.

"But it's worth it if this finally works," Castle said.

"Sixth time the charm," I joked dryly. Alexis sort of got that it was humiliating to be unable to carry a pregnancy because I was God's joke. I had spent my life in excellent shape, never did drugs (oh come on, everybody smoked pot in college), and I hadn't been irresponsible with my sex life, but I couldn't have a baby.

When I started thinking about it, the more and more helpless I felt; I did everything right, I helped people every day, and I brought people to justice, didn't that buy me some karma points? Apparently not.

After dinner, we cleaned up and made sure Alexis had some leftovers to take back to Columbia and I took a shower. I was terrified of taking a bath, scared that bath water would seep back up inside me and do something to this conception to make it fail. If my doctor hadn't told me to take it easy, I'd have been doing headstands in the corner of my bedroom the moment we got home.

In the bedroom, Castle was already stripped down to his shorts and putting his phone on the charger on the nightstand. I rubbed some lotion into my legs and got dressed in my pajamas. At midnight, I was on call, so I left the sound on.

We didn't talk. He knew what I was thinking, what I was doing. I wanted to skip my morning kickboxing to keep "taking it easy" as long as I could. They only told me three days, max, but I was taking an extra one just in case.

"You're thinking about this last time, aren't you?" he asked, climbing into bed.

"Yeah," I said quietly, picking up my toothbrush to brush my teeth.

"I hate saying this, and I've been holding it in for so long, Beckett, but… maybe we'll be okay without having a baby of our own."



"Stop saying that, you're jinxing the procedure!"

"You've never been superstitious," he began. "Listen, I think we need to discus being childless."

Childless. That word felt like a smack in my face. "Don't say that!" I shouted. "We made a choice- we were going to have a baby, and this is going to work! It has to work because I'm almost out of options here and I can't be childless! I want to be a mom! I put it off for way too long and... I want this! I want a baby. It's almost too late for me to have one. This has to work. If it doesn't, we'll try it again. And we'll try again and again until it does!"

"Everytime they put you on FSH, your chances of getting cancer goes up."

"I know that!" I shouted. I pinched the bridge of my nose. I hated it when we fought. "I know that, Castle. I just don't ever want to regret not having kids."

"It's not the end of the world-"

"Easy for you to say!" I cried, feeling the rush of anger, the light-headedness, hitting me. "You had a child! Early in life! I gave that period of my life up to advance my career! You didn't have to! I did!" I didn't want to cry, but this was all getting to be too much. I was helpless here. What I wanted- what I needed- it hadn't happening. I was afraid to consider the alternative. Being alone. No children. No grandchildren. No runny noses to wipe, no diapers to change, no school plays to see, no stories to read, no graduations… "I didn't have children because I always thought I had time," I said quietly. "You think you've got forever. And then.. you don't."

"I know," he said quietly. He held out an arm to me. I wanted to climb into the bed with him and just sob. "Beckett… Kate?"

I sat down on the armchair in the corner and cradled my head in my hands. "It feels like… I made the wrong choices. And that I did the wrong thing. And I've forever screwed up my life."

"You know that I felt that way when Meredith told me she was pregnant?"

"That's different," I said. "You can have children into your nineties. I'm almost done being able to have kids. Menopause is right around the corner!"

"You're being overdramatic, Beckett. You're only thirty-seven."

"Almost thirty-eight," I muttered. "Forty's coming up. So soon. Sooner than I realized."

"I've never thought you were sexier when you knew what you were doing and didn't doubt yourself," he said. "You seem like a different person now."

I had been so into my job and solving my mother's murder that I had ignored my want to have a baby. And now, time coming up, if my body didn't betray me first. I fear that the doctor would tell me that I should have, with my endometriosis, tried to have children in my twenties. Early twenties. Before endometriosis had taken it's toll and scarred my uterus like a battlefield. It felt like I was being told I had done something bad, no matter how kindly my doctor told me that we had a limited amount of time to make baby. "I'm not," I said. "I'm not the same person, Castle. I want a child so badly. And we can't have one together."

I didn't want to cry when I got the call seven days later that the IVF hadn't worked and that I wasn't pregnant. Maybe this was it. Maybe I needed to just call it and live with it; I was barren. I was never having children.