Scene insert/alternate scene for 5x02 'Cloudy With A Chance of Murder'. Because I couldn't leave it alone. Picks up right after Beckett busts in to Castle's loft. The break in her voice, the look on her face... I just couldn't help but write something.

Disclaimer: There are two kinds of people who write stories about Castle and Beckett: Screenwriters and crazy fandom people. I'm the kind that doesn't pay at all.

"Ca-stle?" she hadn't meant for her voice to falter, to come out so meek and vulnerable-sounding, but at the sight that lie before her, her heart had dropped to the floor. She lowered her gun, seeing she had misinterpreted what she had heard on the phone, and her face fell. She was helpless to do anything but stare as he leaned back, face smeared with lipstick, to see her.

"I... I know who the killer is," he stammered.

"Castle?!" she demanded, back in control and this time with an edge of anger to her voice.

His eyes widened impossibly further. "Right," he muttered, moving his hands from helplessly beside him to the safest spot he could think find, the bare shoulders of the reporter, to push her off him. He nearly fell on the floor as he extricated himself, the woman loathe to end contact with any part of him.

He looked at Beckett, standing there, lips slightly parted, gun hanging at her side. Then he looked back at Kristina, barely moved from where he had pushed her off of him and also looking at him expectantly.

"You... you have to leave," he stuttered in the reporter's direction.

Her mouth dropped. "What?"

"You have to leave," he repeated, more firmly this time. "Now." His feet were rooted in place where he had finally managed to stand, arm furiously wiping the smeared lipstick from his face.

Kristina started to protest when Beckett raised her gun again. "You heard the man," she interjected, pleased at the way the woman's eyes fixed on the metal of her gun. "Leave. Now."

Without another word, she quickly gathered what was left of her dress and scurried out the door, leaving Castle staring at his feet and Beckett slowly lowering her gun again.

"Kate," he gasped, swiping at his face again.

"Save it, Castle," she muttered, her own gaze falling to the floor. How could she have been so stupid? She was sure he had really changed, sure that his playboy days were in his past now that they were together.

"No, Kate," he insisted, rounding to look at her. A streak of pink still remained on his cheek and when her eyes rested upon it they quickly returned to the floor. Seeing her gaze drop, he swiped at the lipstick again and muttered "I need a shower."

"I'll bet you do," she snorted derisively, trying to keep the hurt out of her voice.

"Look, she jumped me," he explained, willing her to believe him. "I was trying to get away, I swear. Kate, God, I would never..."

His words trailed off, and at the edge of pain in his own voice, she lifted her eyes to his once more. "I want to believe you," she said softly.

His shoulders went slack - she wasn't sure if it was with relief or defeat, and he let out a sigh. "Kate, please, can we talk about this? I just need to..." he scrubbed his face again. "Please don't leave."

Her gaze was cautious, wary, and she swallowed hard before she answered him. Everything in her screamed to run, to go home, to lick her wounds, to cry... but something about him was keeping her here. Something about the tone of his voice, the look in his eyes. "Five minutes, or I'm gone, Castle," she replied, giving him just enough time to clean up and return to her.

"Five minutes," he repeated, and eyes lingering on her only a moment longer, he turned and bolted to his bathroom. Beckett tried not to imagine exactly why he needed to take off for the bathroom that badly, willing herself to believe it was really just the lipstick. Kicking the door shut behind her, she dropped her gun on the table, next to the pieces of a now-broken vase, and turned to sink into the couch before an image flashed before her eyes. That very couch, only moments ago. She dropped to the floor, just barely avoiding the glass, instead, and tried to calm herself.

He had disappeared through his bedroom into the bathroom, but from the noise of the shower she could tell that he hadn't closed the door. She knew him well enough to know that this was a message. He wanted her to know that he wasn't hiding anything from her. She wanted to believe him. She tried to banish the unbidden imagery from her mind as she sat there, watching the second hand tick around the face of her watch. Only three and a half minutes passed before he returned, hair still slick from the shower, wearing only his bathrobe.

"Kate," he started, an edge of pleading to his voice. "Please believe me. I would never hurt you like that." He sat on the floor next to her, close but not touching, awaiting a response.

"Then explain it to me," she replied, unable to disguise her emotion. "Explain to me, Castle, why I got a phone call from you, with her, and didn't answer me when I tried to call you back... Why I came over here, thinking you were in trouble, to find some... bimbo, straddling you on your couch? Explain to me why that happened."

His eyes closed and he swallowed hard, knowing how what she had just seen must have made her feel.

"I can't," he began, and she stared at him in disbelief. Really, he was going to offer no explanation for this?

"I can't because it never should have happened," he continued.

"You're damn right it never should have happened," she returned angrily. "Dammit, Castle, I thought... I really thought I meant something to you."

"You do!" he protested quickly, eyes both hurt and honest. "I love you, Kate. That hasn't changed. Look, I should've never said yes. I'm not good at this, Kate. I never wanted to do it, but you were so worried... about people knowing... and I had just told her I was single on national television... I should've said no, Kate, but I'm an idiot. All I could think was that if I said no, people might suspect something. They're used to me the way I was... I mean you heard Ryan and Esposito!"

"Yeah, but Castle, what was she doing here... like that?!" Beckett implored, squeezing her eyes shut once more to try to rid herself of the image.

She was surprised when he shook his head and admitted, "I have no idea." Before she could protest, he continued. "She showed up, an hour before I was supposed to meet her. Pushed in here talking about oysters and strawberries and putting her hands on me. I swear I tried everything. I distracted her, I hid from her, I pushed her away, I told her no, and she just wouldn't listen! I... I must've dialed you by accident, I'm sorry, Kate. But you have to believe me, I was trying... trying to get away. Get her out of here. I only want you."

More than anything she wanted to believe him. It was her own insecurity more than anything he'd done that left her with lingering doubts. "So she just... overpowered you?" Beckett rolled her eyes.

"Well... yeah, kinda," he replied. "I mean, I didn't want to actually hurt her so I just kept trying to... get away. What you saw... that happened right before you walked in, I was just about to push her off, hopefully not hard enough to hurt but to get the message... and then you were there."

Beckett said nothing for a moment, just stared intently at her hands. He was telling the truth, she knew he was... she just couldn't seem to rid herself of the hurt that seeing it had created in her.

"Kate," he said, tentatively touching her forearm. "Please believe me. I wouldn't cheat on you, never. I wouldn't do that. I love you. I know... how hard it must have been to see that... hell, I wish I could forget it... but please believe me. I don't know what I'll do if you..." he trailed off. He was scared.

She twisted around to look him straight in the eyes. "I do believe you," she whispered. "I just..."

"I know," he acknowledged what remained unsaid. "I know, and I'm sorry, Kate, I never should've been in that situation to begin with. I should've told her no. You shouldn't have had to see that."

After another moment of silence she spoke. "You shouldn't have had to live it."

His brow furrowed. What? Now she was upset for him?

"Castle, if I hadn't been so worried about people knowing, if I had told you... that it bothered me... I know you wouldn't have gone out with her. You were just trying to respect my wishes, throw everyone off at the precinct, and then even when she came after you like that you tried to be a gentleman and... I'm sorry, for doubting you. I'm sorry for putting you in that position. She basically comes in your apartment and attacks you and I blame you for it. I'm sorry."

"Hey," he murmurs, tipping her chin up to see her eyes. "You don't get to apologize, I'm the one who screwed up here."

"It's not your fault though," she protested, leaning back to see him fully. "You can't tell me, that if the situation were reversed... if you walked in to find some guy trying to..."

His gaze grew so dark and cloudy that she stopped speaking. "I'd kill him," Castle stated plainly.

"But not me," she persisted.

His mouth opened in surprise. "What? No, of course not, that wouldn't be your fault, Kate, that's never..." and then her point dawned on him. He would never blame her for some guy taking things too far, and she wasn't going to blame him because some woman did it.

"Exactly," she replied. "I'm sorry. I just got insecure. I don't even want to think about sharing you."

"Guess neither one of us is good at this yet, huh?" he mused, gently pulling the ponytail holder from her hair.

"We'll get better," she assured. "I mean..." her hand slipped beneath his robe and she scraped a fingernail gently down his chest, "we're already pretty good... at some things."

He merely growled in response, knowing that this much was true... and the rest, they would figure out.


A/N: This is my first foray into this fandom (although I've been writing fic since I was twelve), and I'm exactly a week into binge-watching every episode, so if I mixed anything up I'm sorry. I also don't have access to MS Word at the moment, so any typos are mine (I could use a beta!) and I apologize for them! I tried to proof it as much as I could. I thrive on feedback and I'm open to constructive criticism but please be nice! I've got a couple other Castle stories on my computer (and many more in my brain) and if this one is well received I might be persuaded to share...