Disclaimer: The only part of Castle that I own is the TV on which I watch the show.

If they asked me, I could write a book
About the way you walk and whisper and look.
—Lorenz Hart

If only Kate could reach, she'd pull down the hideous clock that hangs above the kitchen door and stomp it to death. She'd take it outside, dig a hole, and give it an unceremonious burial. The housing is red plastic and the hands are a fork and spoon. Whenever the fork drags over the top of the clock face, which happens twenty-four times a day, it makes a piercing, grating click. She braces herself for it five minutes before the change of each hour, that metallic, relentless reminder of the time she has wasted, is wasting as she recovers from her shooting. Each click feels like another regret burrowing into her gut. But she can't reach and she can't dig and she can't do fucking anything. Well, except for one thing, which is to host a full-scale pity party for one. No guests, just her. Who'd want to come, anyway? The only person she wants to see is the one she shut out. The only person she wants to talk to is the one she won't call. Castle.

She sent her father home a week ago, and now she's alone at the cabin. Everything hurts, inside and out, though she had told him that she was much, much better and was perfectly capable of taking care of herself. He probably hadn't bought it, but he had gracefully agreed to go back to the city and let her heal on her own terms. She's doing her exercises faithfully, so she is, in fact, a little physically stronger each day. But for every millimeter of muscular progress that she makes, she sinks at least that much deeper into her very own Slough of Despond.

The fork has just dragged and grated its way across the top of the clock, and the spoon is resting on 7. It's seven in the morning, the sun has been up for an hour and a half, and Kate has had it. Had it with pain and remorse and guilt and anger and whatever else is in her personal witch's brew. She pours herself another cup of coffee that she knows she shouldn't have, but it's the fuel she requires if she's going to do this. She takes her iPod, a notebook, and a pen and goes out to sit at the table on the deck. For the past week she has been overwhelmed by the need to make amends to Castle, but she has had no idea how to do it. Saying that she's sorry hardly covers it. The man has had her back for three years. Her back, and everything else. A month ago, he almost took a bullet—the one that left a hole in her chest—for her, and she turned him away. Let him think that she needed a couple of days to regroup, which might be the cruelest use ever of the don't-call-me-I'll-call-you directive. She is justifiably mortified every time she remembers it. She hasn't told him that she dumped Josh only minutes after her forlorn-looking sidekick had left her in the hospital; she has barely told herself.

The first step, which was surprisingly easy, was to admit that she is in love with Castle. Madly in love. The second, which was something of a step backward, was to hate herself for having to admit it, for not having rejoiced in it from the beginning. She has lost track of the apologies that she has considered and rejected over the course of the past seven days—the better part of 168 hours, since she is almost always awake. Every variation is excruciatingly inadequate: a case of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a raft of flowers, an autographed first edition of Atonement, dinner at Per Se, even letting him drive.

Then, at three o'clock this morning, something had happened. Sleepless as usual, Kate had left her bed and wandered into the living room. After she had turned on a light and dropped down onto the armchair where she planned to read Heat Wave for the umpteenth time, her eye had wandered to the bottom shelf of a large wooden cabinet beneath a window. More than a decade after her mother's death, it still holds a large collection of Johanna's CDs, ones that Kate hadn't thought of for years, couldn't bear to think of. They were all recordings from the great American songbook—Kern, Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Ellington, Lerner and Loewe, Porter, Arlen—that her mother had adored. She had called them her soul food. Kate had risen from the chair, knelt on the floor and begun thumbing through the CDs, stopping at some and humming a few measures before moving on. It was then, as she held Heat Wave in one hand and a recording of Pal Joey in the other, that inspiration had struck. She had stood up and done something that she hadn't in a very, very long time: she smiled. She had realized what she was going to do, even if it was insanity, or folly: she would apologize to Castle with a book, a small book that she would write.

Now she's out in the warm early morning sun, looking at a notebook full of blank pages. She puts in her earbuds and begins listening to various versions of one of the two songs that she had just downloaded: "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," from Rodgers and Hart's show Pal Joey. First up is Lady Gaga, and Kate likes it, but it's a little too powerful, a bit too confident. And it doesn't sit right, because Lady Gaga is not someone her mother heard. She moves on to Streisand: it's gorgeous, but she stretches words and she strikes Kate as coy, which was definitely not Johanna's style. The inimitable Ella Fitzgerald is next, and Kate could have that on a loop for hours, but there's a fourth that she wants to sample. The minute she hears Frank Sinatra, she knows this is the one for her current mood. It's silk, it's satin, it's sex. How had she not paid attention to these three lines before?

Couldn't sleep
And wouldn't sleep
Until I could sleep where I shouldn't sleep

How had she not even noticed them before? Maybe because they had never been so painfully on point before. Until she could sleep where she shouldn't sleep. Because that's where she wants to sleep, where's she's aching to sleep. In Castle's bed. With Castle. The man she has all but banished.

She's going to listen to two songs from Pal Joey while she writes. There's "Bewitched," because she loves the melody, because the title is an eerily appropriate description of her emotional and mental state, and now, now those three lines. The other is "I Could Write a Book," which will, if she doesn't completely fuck up what could be the best thing that ever happened to her, be a perfect description of Castle and her. Together. These songs that her mother loved will occupy the back of her mind. They will be the backdrop, part of the time, as she writes. She had turned on Castle because of her mother's case, and now her mother will, she hopes, help lead her back to him. Mom, meet Rick. Castle, here's my mother. Here's me.

She opens her notebook. Sinatra has finished being bewitched, and what starts to play now is Miles Davis's rendition of "I Could Write a Book," with her beloved Coltrane on tenor sax. No one's singing, so she supplies the lyrics: "If they asked me, I could write a book about the way you walk and whisper and look." Oh yeah, she could do that. She'll have no trouble describing the way Castle walks, whispers and looks. She could do with some more of the whispering right now, the way it wraps around her ear and snakes down the back of her neck when he's standing behind her at the murder board, or at her desk. But still, how does she have the balls—the ovaries, she amends, as she laughs—to write a book for a best-selling author? If he plays cop can she play writer? That's not it. She's not sure. But she's a voracious reader, and she may not be a writer, but she is going to write a book about them, about how he irritated the crap out of her and got under her skin and into her bloodstream and now she wants him. She needs him. And she's sorry that she has screwed everything up so badly. She is so, so sorry.

She picks up her pen. "When he walked into her life, it was less of a walk than an invasion. He was a cocky bastard, and he all but crowed."


A/N I know that Lady Gaga hadn't yet recorded "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" at the time this story is set; I hope that you will indulge me.