Castle pushed open the bedroom door and sighed softly, his heart breaking at the sight of his fiancée, foetal in the middle of their bed, sobbing in earnest.
"Oh, Kate." He murmured, crossing the room slowly before sitting in the curve of her body, settling his broad palm against the base of her back, his thumb making soothing circles against her spine.
They stayed, silent save for the heart wrenching sobs that flowed from the powerful beautiful woman in his bed.
It happened occasionally, the bad days, the ones where her own personal dementors consumed her consciousness and brought her back to this shell of a person, the one who cried for no apparent reason and needed to be held together, but never willing to ask for the comfort.
She could never ask him, not even now, but he knew, instinctively when to hold her, when to give her her space and when to hold her hand, just enough to ground her in reality, to not let her drift into her own head, her delusions, her living nightmares.
She slowly took one of her hands away from her face and tentatively slid it across the bed, the sign he'd been waiting for.
Rick slipped his fingers between hers, the strong and the delicate, the little and the large, linked intrinsically.
Kate's breathing hitched harshly and Rick slid his hand up her back to massage just behind her ribs, knowing it hurt when she cried like this.
"I'm here." He murmured, not knowing if she was even aware of him yet, it took her a while sometimes.
To see him for her fiancé rather than just another mind game.
She tilted her head just ever so slightly in acknowledgement.
She knew, she was aware of his presence, his hand in her own.
"It's going to be okay, Kate. I promise." His voice was barely loud enough, even in the silence of their bedroom, but he didn't need to be louder, she heard him.
He never promised in present tense, not any more.
Always promising that it would get better, rather than that everything was okay.
It wasn't, not yet, but it would be.
"Rick...?" She whispered and he took his cue.
Slowly, so as not to startle her, he turned and laid down, laying beside her, watching the crystalline tears slip down her cheeks.
With a gentle, fluid movement, her tenderly tucked his fingers in her hair and slowly pushed it behind her ear, his palm coming back to cup her cheek as his thumb smoothed the soft skin beneath her eye, carefully catching the falling tears.
"I'm not going anywhere. I won't leave. I'm right here. It'll be okay." His soft assurances were almost recited by this point, similar words spoken every time, but always meant to their truest capacity. "I love you." He breathed, sliding closer, just enough to caress her forehead, her cheek, with his lips. "I love you, Kate."
"I know." She whispered back, not stable enough to say it back, but on steady enough ground to assure him.
It was a good sign.
"Whenever you're ready, Kate. It's okay."
Kate nodded, shuffling closer, tucking her head under his chin, curling their joined hands between them, her spare hand curled in his shirt, keeping him close.
"I'm here." He whispered against her crown. "I'm not going anywhere."
Kate sobbed just once more, curling her body as close to his as she could get, letting him cradle her against his chest.
He was good at that.
At trying so hard to make it all better.
He didn't always succeed, but he would hold her through the worst and that was usually enough.