Got this wonderful idea from castlefanfics and the anon who asked if there were any fics where Beckett is on speakerphone during Cops and Robbers. I loved the idea, so thought I'd give it a shot. Thank you for taking the time to read :) it truly means the world.

AN: Andrew Marlowe and company get all the credit. Their brilliant concepts gives way to millions of stories, so I thank them. Reviews, follows, favorites, and even criticism is always welcome, always appreciate a chance to grow in my writing. Thank you again. :)

Beckett paced feverishly in the crisis negotiation van, straining to hear any sound coming from the earpiece. The line was uncomfortably silent. Had it merely been minutes since she had seen Castle, had verified that he was alive with her own eyes? It felt as if hours had passed. She clenched her hand that had so recently held his, still feeling the ghost of his fingers clutching hers.

Castle was supposed to be by her side. Not trapped in a bank. How had their day turned out like this? She waited for Trapper John to come back on the line, her mind conjuring up images of Castle at the precinct, annoying and frustrating, too many crazy theories that were (she would now admit to herself) completely adorable all at once, to keep her from falling off the deep end.

The beep in her ear drew her attention, had her focused completely on Trapper John in the blink of an eye. Time to get back to work.

"Where's my bus?"
"The bus is on the way, it'll be there in twenty minutes."
"The hostage'll be dead in two."

Beckett glanced at Captain Peterson, seeing the wheels turning in his mind as he worked through the possible outcomes of the bank hold up. She tried to keep her voice even as she spoke, not wanting to spook Trapper John.

"No, nobody needs to die, okay? It's coming; it's just stuck in traffic."
"We have rules, Kate. I said I wouldn't kill anyone, you said you'd give me a bus. I lived up to my end of the deal."

The rustle of the phone caught her attention. Trapper John suddenly seemed far away, his voice loud to compensate for putting the phone on speaker. What the hell? Beckett forced herself to keep her composure, focusing on the hostages in the bank. Focusing on two in particular.

"And I'm going to live up to mine, I just-"
"I warned you not to jerk me around. Now, I was clear about the consequences, do I have to prove how serious I am, is that it?"

Beckett felt a sudden wave of panic, her eyes finding the bank even through the thick door of the hostage van. He was going to make her suffer, punish Beckett. She could picture him pointing the gun at Castle, waiting for her to crack. She wracked her brain for anything to say, needing to keep him focused on her.

"Okay I—I think we both just need to take a deep breath and we can talk about it."
"I'm done talking."

The shot rang out, paralyzing her.

I'll start with your boyfriend. The words plagued Beckett as she shouted into the phone, trying to get Trapper John's attention. She could hear the shriek of horror as the gun went off throughout the bank. Beckett flinched at the sound, anger flaring in her as she thought of someone lying there dying. She refused to believe it was Castle, could not let her mind picture him dead. She thought of Alexis right outside, her harsh words for Beckett still ringing in the detective's ears.

"What was that?!"
"A warning shot, the next one's for the kill!"

Martha's voice rang out as Trapper John approached them, sending a fresh wave of dread through Beckett. She shook with her anger and fear, silently cursing the robber for having the phone on speaker. A mother's natural terror over losing a child echoed through the van. Beckett started as she heard Martha's angry pleas to leave Castle alone.

"Don't touch him you son of a bitch!"
"Mr. Davenport, hold her back!"

Castle's voice, a deep timbre with a hint of anger, settled over her. Even separated, her partner's steadfastness calmed Beckett's shaking nerves. Despite knowing that now Trapper John was now standing next to him with a gun, Beckett felt her control slide back into place. She would do anything to keep Castle safe, anything. Their unorthodox partnership had saved them repeatedly. They could get through this.

She closed her eyes, could practically hear him saying the same words he had repeated just a few short months ago.

Take it easy. You got this. You got this.

Please God, don't let him die before I tell him. He has to know how I feel. Let me get him out alive.


Vivid images of a life they could have had flashed in Castle's mind as the screen behind him shattered, the fragments of broken plastic and glass littering the floor around them. As he took shifted uncomfortably, Castle admitted in the deepest recesses of his mind that he was scared. He could hear the fear in Kate's voice as her panicked voice sounded louder than the screams near him.

She was scared too. Castle had seen it in her eyes as she played the paramedic, her hand holding his for just a second longer than just necessary. He could hear it now in the slight shake of her voice, despite the confidence ingrained in her. The gun shot had rattled her, had rattled them all. Still, Castle heard the familiarity of Detective Beckett as she assessed the situation over the phone.

For whatever reasons he had, Castle was grateful Trapper John had Beckett on speakerphone. He was morbidly thankful knowing one of the last things he would hear would be Kate's voice.

I should have told her I loved her again. I should have said it every day until she accepted it.

Thoughts of what he should have done, of how their partnership could have been more, raced through his imaginative mind as Trapper John squatted in front of him. The gun pressed to Castle's throat was cold, a stark contrast from the heat in Trapper John's eyes. The crackle of the static on the phone was unnerving. Castle focused on Beckett's breathing, forced himself to breath in time with the strained breaths he could hear.

"I'm gonna make pretty red stains out of your boyfriend, Kate. I got my gun to his throat and I'm gonna paint a Jackson Pollack with his insides."

Castle could hear the muffled chatter of the hostage team in the background as Trapper John held the phone out, every hostage able to hear their explosive conversation. He focused on her voice, let her calm his terror. Beckett appeared not to have heard, pushing forward with the tenacity she had shown for four years.

"Listen to me, Jackass. I do not control traffic so you're gonna have to give me twenty minutes."
"Now you've got one minute, Kate!"

Trapper John pressed the gun further into Castle's neck, fueled by his anger. Beckett's voice was deadly calm as she spoke again, her words a forced to be reckoned with. Castle couldn't ignore the blip of pride that raced through him as she growled, panicked fury driving Beckett's words.

"No, I have twenty. Do you hear me? Twenty. Because if you pull that trigger…I will walk through those doors and personally put a bullet through your skull."

His heart pumped furiously as Trapper John stared into his eyes, Kate's words full of scary promise if he were to hurt Castle. Kate Beckett always kept her promises. Castle stared down the man, determined not to show fear. Castle's breath of relief was forced as Trapper John pulled the gun away from his throat, saying cheerfully

"Okay, Kate, you got twenty more minutes."

Castle heard the heavy sigh Kate allowed before Trapper John disconnected the call. Waving the gun casually, Trapper John said excitedly, bringing Castle's blood to a boil as the robber discussed Beckett so light heartedly.

"Your girlfriend is a hell cat."

Castle sarcastically grinned at him, saying on a huff and suddenly very grateful for the truth.

"Yeah well, she's not my girlfriend."

His mind raced over the afternoon, looking for a way to help Beckett, to contribute despite being held hostage. Snippets of Trapper John's conversation with Beckett flashed through his mind as he looked for clues.

I'll start with your boyfriend.
I'm going to make pretty red stains out of your boyfriend.

Castle's breath hitched as he realized she had never denied it, hadn't even questioned Trapper John's words. As he stood to be shuffled to the back of the bank, his mind was already thinking of seeing Kate again. He had to get out of here; he had to know that there was still a chance for them.