A/N: I own nothing in the Castle world, all of that belongs to their respective creators. I did borrow lines from the episode 'Always' and hope that you all can forgive me for the way I messed with them.

Sideways: An 'Always' Alternate


"Beckett. What do you want?"

The look on Castle's face told her immediately that she wasn't who he had expected to see. In fact, it looked like he didn't want to be seeing her at all at that particular moment. His hands held onto the edge of the door and the doorframe, keeping the opening to the loft closed off to her. This has been a day of confessions and mistakes, she just hoped deep in her heart that he will see that she is here to try and repair the biggest mistake of her life.

Her one word answer comes out almost breathless, despite the fact that she's already been standing outside his door for at least five minutes, catching her second wind and wiping most of the rain from her hair.


She steps into the room, forcing him either to touch her or back off. Paying no heed to the ramifications of the fact that he did step away from her, Kate plows into him, her hands coming up to cup his jaw as she pulls his face down to hers so she can press her lips to his. It only lasts a second or two before she pulls back, more confessions falling from her swollen lips.

"I'm so sorry, Castle. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry."

She's back kissing him again, her mouth open and devouring his, but his reaction isn't what she was hoping for or expecting. While she can say that he 'kissed' her back, it isn't anything like the heated passion from the one where they were trying to save Espisito and Ryan. Kate starts to turn her head in an effort to deepen the kiss, to force her tongue between his lips which, for some reason, won't open to her. His arms tighten on her biceps and just when she thinks he's pulling her in close … he's shoving her back, away from him. His face is flushed, but she can't tell what emotion he is trying to hold back ... passion … or anger.

"What happened?" Castle's voice is raw and Beckett doesn't recognize it from any of the other times he's spoken to her.

It's still confession time, the shearing pain of her earlier words to him hitting her full force behind the scar between her breasts. Kate pours it out to him, the one man who knows how important the entire situation is to her … the one man who will know how much her next words are costing her.

"He got away, and I didn't care. I almost died and all I could think about was you. I just want you."

Beckett moves in again, her lips parting , her mouth open to cover his and fuse them together in the lover's dance that they have been in for far too long. Just before they come together once more, he stops her with another forceful push that creates way too much space between their bodies. For a moment, she thinks he's about to slam her back against the door and ravage her, but when she looks up into his deep blue eyes, it's not passion or want or even lust that she finds there. It's complete and utter disgust. Before that fact can register in her mind, he echoes her words back at her, but they aren't right … aren't full of the love that he'd confessed to her earlier.

"You … want … me?" It isn't a question meant for confirmation, it's almost said mockingly. For a moment, Kate swallows down the burn that's formed in the back of her throat, thinking that, maybe, he just hadn't heard her correctly, and that maybe she'd spoken too quickly for his mind to correctly discern her plea to him.

"Yes … I want you." The instant the words left her lips, she knew she'd said the wrong thing.

Castle let her arms fall from his grasp as he whirled away, turning his back to her as he took two or three steps further into his home. She almost reached up to grab his shoulders, but the rigid posture of his spine caused her hands to drop to her sides.

"Castle … Rick …" Both of his names left her mouth in a rush, like she feared if she didn't get them out quickly enough, he'd keep walking until he disappeared into the depths of the loft.

"You want me … "

This time, there was no mistaking the sarcasm in how he said it, and Kate felt all the heat that was throbbing inside of her start to fade into bland coolness. She'd come too far tonight, both physically and emotionally to simply let it go that easily. "Yes … Rick, please … "

He spun to face her so quickly that she inadvertently took a half step backwards. "Just like the rest of them." When she stopped moving, so did he, maintaining enough distance between them to stay out of her personal space. Something he'd never done before. Not once. Until now.

"What … what are you talking about? Just like who?" Kate was at a loss, she had no idea what he was talking about or why he was still looking at her like he couldn't even stand to be in the same room with her.

Castle took a deep breath, his hands clinching into tight fists at his sides as the fire in his eyes grew only more intense. "Demming … " The detective's name came out like it left a sour taste in his mouth.

Beckett shook her head in confusion. "Demming? What has he got to do with … "

He cut her off with another name. "Will … "

"My God, Castle! That was years ago! You can't still be jealous of a relationship that died before I even met you … "

The next name that he basically spits at her, causes her heart to skip a beat.

"Josh … "

Kate held up one hand to stop his list of all of her former boyfriends while the other came up to her face so she could pinch the bridge of her nose between two of her fingers. "Wait … really? That's what this is about? All the men that I've dated? You know that they are all in my past … they don't mean anything to me … they weren't important … "

"You wanted them too … had relationships with them … for a one-and-done kind of girl, the S.S. Beckett sure leaves one hell of a wake."

And that's when it hits her. What he was trying to say, with both his words and his bodily rejection of her advances. Kate feels like she's been slapped but it was her own words that did it. She's desperately trying to think of anything to say or do to reverse the damage that she's, once again, poured out onto the one man that means more to her than anything else on this earth. But before her fractured mind can come up with any type of response, Castle is speaking again, but his voice is deep and broken.

"I begged you not to pursue it … to think about the ones that love you … and yet … " Castle swallows the lump in his throat and feels it all the way down to his knees. " … you don't listen to me … and you go off and nearly get yourself killed."

The loss of the light in his eyes is killing her with every syllable that he utters, but Kate's powerless to stop him. While her heart thumps madly in her chest, she can actually feel the emotional distance between them increasing … the exact opposite of what she had hoped and planned on.

Kate's hand comes up to cover her mouth, her tears burning past any of her dismal resistance. She sees him breaking right in front of her eyes and she's powerless to stop it, knowing that she's the one who broke him. A sob escapes her burning throat, but she detects no reaction to indicate if Castle notices or if he even cares.

"I told you I love you … told you a year ago and today … " His upper body contorts, like he's physically wrestling with the anguish and pain within his soul, and Kate Beckett can do nothing but watch in mortified horror. Castle's arms come up in front of him and curl inward, making it look as if he's trying to hold something in … or let something go.

" … you show up here … and … and … " He's struggling to breathe and, for a moment, he doesn't … like it is just simply too painful to even allow his lungs to function the way they are supposed to. Kate notices and takes a step toward him, but his roar stops her cold.

"And all you can say … is that … YOU … WANT … ME?!"

The pain, the anguish … all of it slams into Detective Kate Beckett, leaving her momentarily stunned at her partner's outburst. He sounds like he can't believe that she had the gall to say those words to him and she knows her mistake now, knows the three little words that he would have accepted … the words that have been stuck in the back of her throat and heart for longer than she can remember. They were on her tongue when he opened the door, when he'd asked what she wanted but the phrasing of his question had thrown her, muddling what she'd wanted to say for so long now.

But at this moment, as the man who had wormed his way through her impenetrable walls literally came apart at the seams in front of her, those words turned to ash on her tongue. Even if she said them now, he was in such a rage that he probably wouldn't hear them. That fact wasn't lost on her, and the heart that had barely survived her mother's death, shattered into a million pieces in her chest, leaving her breathless and drained. Kate swallowed the bile in her throat, trying her best to salvage something from the disaster this evening … this day, week, month, year … that they had descended into. "Rick … please … "

The words in his reply were razors, sharp and cutting. "Please what, Beckett?"

They were still stuck at him calling her 'Beckett' and she had no idea how to break his sudden refusal to call her 'Kate'. She was struggling with a response when he turned away from her, facing toward the windows that made up the far wall, the lights of the city beautiful despite the devastation going on inside the little loft in SoHo. Castle started speaking and she wasn't sure if he was talking to himself or if he actually cared if she heard him or not.

"You wanted them too … all of them … and you just said they weren't important … that they didn't mean anything … " The pain of the realization was clear on his face, in the tears that streaked his cheeks, and the defeated slump of his shoulders. " I … I … I love you … I do … I've told you … showed you … but you come in here, after all that's happened today … and all I get from you is … 'want'."

Kate's beside herself, her eyes closed as if she doesn't witness it, then it isn't happening. But it is. Only seven or eight feet away from her … Castle has reached the edge of his limitless understanding and forgiveness.

"And that's just not good enough … not anymore." He still hasn't turned to face her, so his voice bounces off the windows and walls, but they still slam into her as if he had screamed them directly at her. Then he starts to repeat the word that will never pass her lips again without her recalling the darkness that four lettered word has caused her.

"After all that we've been through … if all you can give me is 'want' … "

Kate held her breath, waiting for the shoe to drop. She didn't have to wait long for Castle to choke out the words.

"If you can't tell me anything other than that … I think it's best if you just leave."


A/N: I'm a little new to the 'Castle' world of Fanfic. I've been reading the stories here for a few months now and am impressed by some of the creativity that the authors continually come up with.

I'm also fairly new to the TV Castle (I've been watching the last two seasons but I catch reruns on the episodes when one catches my eye) and 'Always' prompted this little story of mine. I had looked up 'Always' on Youtube to see Castle and Beckett finally get together and loved the short clips of that great moment. But as I caught earlier episodes that included her lying about remembering his confession of love, her attitude of it being her life, and just the general crappy way Kate treated Castle (Demming, Josh, the secrets) ... I started seeing 'Always' in a totally different light.

I wrote this as an alternate way things could (or should) have gone between them that night after Alexis' graduation. It's a simple attempt for me to have Rick's reaction be a little bit more within the realm of reality and not simply because all that sexual tension needed to go away.

If you feel so inclined, leave a note in the little box at the bottom on your way out and let me know if I should leave it here or press on.

Semper Fidelis