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Fill for the Kink Meme: "Pre-Always, Beckett breaks her leg and has to relent into letting Castle help her - and by day 3 she really needs a proper shower/bath... soapy/smutty fun ensues"
This is probably a little more serious/less smutty than the prompter intended but here we are.
She wakes to a curious numbness in her right leg and a mouth full of cotton. The plastic mattress sighs and squeaks under her as she moves, the rough industrial sheets scratchy against her bare back. Hazy memories trickle back in with her awareness and Kate opens her tired, heavy eyelids to a white drop-tile ceiling and sighs.
"Hey there, sleeping beauty."
Her hair feels greasy against her cheek when she turns her head to find the source of those softly spoken words. Castle sits next to her bedside, deep purple shadows under his eyes and a wide smile curling up the corners of his mouth. She can't help but return it, lips pulling tight over her fuzzy teeth. Light pressure on her hand draws her gaze down and she sees his fingers covering her own, his thumb stroking soft circles over the knob of her wrist. Kate's eyelids flutter, want and affection welling up inside her chest.
"I'd ask how you're feeling," he says, amusement seeping into the words, "but seeing as you threatened to shoot me the last time, I'll refrain."
Kate hums at him, her brain taking too long to process the words. "Did not," she argues when she finally understands what he's said. "Never shoot you."
Castle laughs, a light and happy sound that makes her want to float up, try to catch the notes before they're gone. "Yeah, you did. You're mean on morphine, Beckett."
"Am not," Kate slurs, cracking one eye open again to look at him. "Morphine?"
His hair looks mussed, finger tracks drawn through the sides, and she wants to lift her hand from the bed, trace her own fingertips through those deep, soft grooves. "They gave you the good stuff after the surgery," he answers. "You're down to just hydrocodone now."
Surgery? She had surgery?
"How much do you remember?" Castle asks, thumb still stroking over her skin.
"Um." Kate lifts her free hand to her face and scrubs her palm over her forehead, willing it all to come back. "Chasing Gaines down an alley. He threw something at me."
Castle nods. "A rock. Small boulder, really," he says with a dry chuckle that she can tell is forced even through the haze of drugs. "Caught you in the thigh. You stumbled and your heel got caught in a - "
"Basement access door," she fills in, the memory of the sharp crack of bone followed by instant agony coming back to her so quickly her stomach rolls. "Broke my leg."
"Fibula," he elucidates.
"Shit," Kate groans, the fog inside her head dissipating rapidly, embarrassment and anger flowing in to take its place. Tears prickle behind her eyes and she turns away from him. "Shit, shit, shit."
The metal legs of his chair scrape across the linoleum as Castle scoots closer to her. Her body rolls toward him when he places his elbows down next to her hip and leans in close. "Kate," he admonishes, voice soft and gentle and everything she wants but won't let herself have. Not yet. "Hey, come on. It was a freak accident."
"It was stupid," she bites out.
Castle doesn't say anything, doesn't try to argue or reassure. He just stays there next to her bed while she cries, his breathing steady and calm, hand a warm weight over hers. Kate takes a few deep, cleansing breaths, tries to pull herself back together. Narcotics always do this to her, make her reactionary and overly emotional. She spent far too many of her days last summer curled up in her old twin bed at her father's house, sobbing like child. She hadn't wanted anyone to see her like that, weak and watery. Especially not Castle. But laying in this bed, with him so close, so comforting and reassuring, she finds herself wondering for the thousandth time what it would have been like to have him there with her.
"How long?" she asks, once the tears finally abate.
"You're on crutches and in a walking cast for at least a month," Castle says, a wariness in his voice that makes her heart ache anew. "Then PT for two to three. No heels."
Kate sighs and rolls her head back to face him. Worry has washed the smile from his mouth but his eyes - his eyes make her stomach lurch, her heart pound. So much love. So much wanting.
"This is gonna suck," she asserts and he laughs, face breaking wide with it.
She was right.
Three days in and Kate is already going crazy. She hates feeling like an invalid, her body too heavy and slow for anything more taxing than moving - slowly, so very slowly - from her bed to her couch and back again. Her hands tighten around the rubber grips of her crutches as she makes her way out into the living room, palms slick with sweat from the effort of keeping herself upright and her right foot off the ground.
"Hey!" Castle exclaims, spinning away from her stove and lurching toward her with outstretched hands. "What the hell are you doing?"
Kate grits her teeth against the anger rising like a tide up her throat and closes her eyes. She can feel him hovering, nervous energy rolling off his body in waves. Sucking in a deep breath, she exhales slowly, completely emptying herself of air and annoyance before looking up at him again. The concern etched into the creases of his brow makes her stomach twist.
"I needed to get up," she rasps, throat itchy and dry after her impromptu nap. Another reason to hate the drugs.
"Why didn't you call for me? You shouldn't be - "
"I'm not an invalid, Castle," she bites out, the words undermined by the way she sways on the crutches.
"No," he says in a soft voice. "You're not an invalid. But you are hurt, Kate. And I'm just trying -"
"To help," Kate finishes for him, the apology she cannot actually speak wrapped up in the words. "I know."
They stare at one another in silence for the space of a dozen heartbeats. Swallowing it all down, Kate juts out her left elbow and lets herself lean in his direction. Castle accepts her white flag with grace, one warm hand wrapping around her bicep as the other lifts to rest in the middle of her back. He helps her crutch over to the living room and then down onto the couch, lifting her injured leg onto the cushions with a gentleness that makes tears tremble in her throat.
"Thank you," she whispers, a hand rising to stroke his cheek without her permission.
"Don't mention it." Castle lingers at her side for a moment, his head listing into her touch, and she wants so badly to draw him in, to kiss away the vestiges of hurt and worry she can see in the corners of his smile. "Now," he says, hands on his thighs as he pull away from her and pushes himself up to his full height, "what do you say to some tomato soup?"
"With grilled cheese?" she asks with a grin.
"Is there any other way?" he scoffs, turning away to head back into the kitchen.
Kate watches him, the way he moves around her home as though he belongs. She can do this. She can be good to him. Good for him.
"Son of a bitch."
Castle looks up at her from the other end of the couch, his iPad tilting forward to rest on his chest. "What?"
"Lanie just texted," she says, tossing her phone down on the cushion next to her hip. "She got called out on a body so she can't come over."
His head cocks to the side in an adorable puppy dog look and she has to fight to stay annoyed at the situation. "Lanie was coming over?"
Kate nods, one hand reaching up to scratch at her hair. Her nose wrinkles at the way the strands feel against her skin, grimy and slick. "Yeah, she was going to help me -" She trails off, averting her gaze from him.
"Nothing," she mumbles, shaking her head as heat flares in her cheeks. "It's not important, Castle."
"Kate, come on. Whatever Lanie was coming over here for, you know I'm more than willing to do it."
And that would be the problem.
"Shower," she finally says, still refusing to look at him. "She was coming over to help me shower. It's been three days and I feel disgusting."
The couch shifts and his hand wraps around her uninjured ankle. The pad of his thumb swirls over her skin and Kate swallows hard, fighting against the surge of lust that threatens to overtake her. All from such a simple gesture.
"Kate," he implores, voice low, "look at me." Her head feels like lead on her neck but she lifts her chin, comes face to face with his earnest, eager gaze. "Let me help you. Please."
The corner of his mouth twitches and she can't tell if it's in a smile or a frown. She's so tired of guessing.
"Okay," she nods.
The smile he gives her pulls an answering lift from her own lips.
Shit, she's in trouble.
The lid of the toilet seat feels like ice against the backs of her naked thighs. Castle kneels on the ground in front of her, his face a mask of intense concentration as he releases the velcro straps of her walking cast. He works it off her leg with gentle hands, eyes darting up to hers every few seconds.
"Yes," she answer for the fifth time, trying desperately to keep the exasperation from her voice. "I'll let you know if it hurts, Castle."
He nods a few too many times and finally discards the boot, her heel cradled in the palm of his hand. She grits her teeth when he uses his free fimgers to trace a wide circle around the angry red line of her surgery scar, the stitches like black laces along the side of her calf.
"Stop feeling my stubble," she says, pressing the toes of her left foot into his thigh.
Castle grins. "You like to feel mine," he tosses back, thumb caressing her kneecap. "Turn about is fair play."
Heat rushes through her chest and she bends her knee without thinking, trying to pull away from his questing fingers. Pain knifes through her shin and she cries out, hands flying up to grip at his shoulders.
"Shit, Kate. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
She shakes off his apology with a toss of her head, breathing hard through her nose. "Not your fault."
"Not your fault," she repeats, one hand gliding up to cup the side of his neck. She can feel the pound of his pulse against her palm and is unsurprised to find that it matches her own.
He nods quickly and reaches out for the plastic wrap and waterproof tape on the countertop. "Lets get this wrapped up," Castle murmurs.
His hands make quick work of the task and she misses the soft stroke of his fingers over her skin. Tossing the tape into the sink, Castle stands up and looks down at her. His eyes linger on her chest, on the pink pucker of her bullet scar left uncovered by the cups of her green bikini top. His throat bobs, and she swears she can almost see the memories flashing in his eyes.
"Castle," she whispers, waiting the few seconds it takes for his eyes to meet hers before she continues, "Help me to the tub?"
His breathing still comes in irregular puffs when he bends over next to her, one arm hooking under her knees and the other cradling her back. Kate wraps her own arms around his neck as he lifts her up against his chest and she bites her lips, fighting the urge to let her head fall against his shoulder. He takes three steps across her tiny bathroom and then slowly, gently lowers her into the welcoming warmth of the water. Castle makes sure she's settled and comfortable then braces his wet hands on the side of the tub, moves to push himself up.
She stops him, her fingers wrapping around his wrist.
"Help me wash my hair?" she asks in a voice that she barely recognizes as being her own.
His smile mends something inside her chest that she hadn't even known was broken. "Of course."
Kate closes her eyes and tilts her head back, patiently waiting. He plucks at the rubberband holding her hair up in a messy bun, unwrapping it carefully. She sighs when he combs his fingers through, tries hard not to think about how greasy it must feel. Water laps against her abdomen and she breathes deeply through her nose, inhaling the familiar scent of his cologne.
"Gonna get your hair wet now," he alerts her in a tone she wants to hear everyday for the rest of her life. "Okay?"
Kate hums, her body relaxing for the first time - actually, she can't remember the last time she felt like this. Safe and warm and so very loved.
No. That's a lie. The last time she felt this way was with him. Waking up next to him on a bare mattress, her head on his shoulder and hand on his heart. Or maybe when they danced together at Ryan's wedding, his chest and thighs brushing against hers with every sway of their bodies. Or maybe it was sitting across from him at Remy's, watching the light dance in his eyes as he teased her with Nikki Heat spoilers. Whenever it was, whatever they were doing, it was him. It's always him.
His fingers, thick and strong, work the shampoo through her hair and he takes the time to massage her scalp and neck. She moans low in her chest when he thumbs a particularly sore spot just to the right of her spine and Castle chuckles, his thumb working into the knot, the soapy mess of her hair temporarily forgotten. She whimpers his name when the pressure finally releases, a rush of relief pouring down her back and making her shiver.
"Feel good?" he husks, voice shaded with lust as he gathers her hair back up and continues the slow, methodical work of scrubbing it between his palms.
Her words seem to have melted away with the tension and all she can do is hum in response. His breath, hot and teasing, spills down the side of her neck when he leans in close. "I'd be happy to give you a further demonstration of my superior massage abilities, Kate," he breathes against her ear. "You only ever have to ask."
He's gone before she can even begin to formulate a response, hands pouring water over the crown of her head. She feels his arm stretch across her body, his hand grazing her bicep as he reaches for the conditioner. The bottle slips from his fingers, landing in her lap with a splash.
"Oops," he mumbles, and she feels him hesitate for a moment before plunging his hand into the water.
The slick slide of his thumb down her stomach makes her gasp, the muscles in her thighs and abdomen tensing in anticipation. Without letting herself think, Kate wraps her fingers around his wrist, halting his movement and holding him still in the crease of her lap.
The husk of his voice sends a shiver of arousal skittering down her spine, gives her the courage to skim her hand down the back of his. Castle sucks in a pained breath when she spreads her thighs and presses on his fingers, guiding his hand down between her legs.
"Kate," he repeats, so much want and hopeful hesitation in his voice. "Kate, I -"
Her free hand comes up out of the water and she brushes her fingers over his lips, quieting him. Kate opens her eyes and tilts her head to look at him. She drops the mask, stands up from the behind the crumbling remnants of that damn wall and lets him see it all. Her want, her need. Her love.
"Rick," she whispers, thumb tracing along his bottom lip. His eyes flutter and she waits for him to come back, to look at her. He needs to see. "Touch me," she says, the words as much a statement as a question. She nudges his fingers with her own, presses him up against the wet material of her bathing suit. "Touch me."
They both let out shuddering breaths when he hooks the tip of his index finger around the edge of the suit and tugs. Kate grips the back of his neck, pulling him closer until she can feel his breath washing hot across her lips. She groans against his mouth when he brushes against her, tentative and light.
"Rick," she pants, not even trying to hide it anymore, the way she wants him. "Rick, please."
His lips brush against hers and she wants to cry at the amount of love he manages to convey with the soft caress. Castle breathes out her name and then shifts, his hand moving down to cup her fully. Kate bites at his bottom lip, her hand kneading the back of his neck. He strokes her with firm, certain touches that make her want to beg him for more, want to pull him into the tub with her and feel the way his hips fit between her thighs.
She moans and his tongue sweeps into her mouth, sliding over her own. Kate kisses him back, tries to pour it all into him with the press of her lips and the glide of her tongue. Her hips rock into his touch and he pulls back, chuckling when she chases after his mouth.
"Stay still," he admonishes softly. "You'll hurt your leg." He presses a light kiss to the corner of her mouth. "Let me do the work."
"No," she says, her wet fist clutching at his shirt. "Partners. Together."
"Kate," he breathes, his hand pausing between her legs until she opens her eyes and looks at him. Gazes locked, he slides down, pressing one long, thick finger deep inside. Her ribs hitch, breath catching hard inside her chest when he curls up and presses. "Let me help you relax."
"Castle," she groans, pressing their foreheads together. "Oh, shit. Castle."
He works her slowly, shallow thrusts that have her clenching, trying to pull him deeper. His lips flit over her face, pressing hot little kisses to her cheeks and forehead, the tip of her nose, her chin. She starts to tremble, goosepimple rising up on her chest and arms as the heat from the water dissipates. Castle presses his thumb to her clit and she cries out, head falling back and mouth open.
"God, you feel amazing," he whispers, a second finger working in to join the first. "So fucking good Kate. So good."
"Come for me, Kate," he commands, teeth at her earlobe and his free hand pressed to the small of her back. "I want to feel you."
Thrashing her head to the side, Kate grips his hair and crushes her lips against his, her moans echoing back to her from the wet cave of mouth. She comes on low, drawn out groan, his name caught up somewhere in the middle. Castle strokes her through it, bringing her through the aftershocks and back to herself slowly. Gently.
The light makes a halo around his head when she finally opens her eyes. He smiles at her, broad and true, not a trace of the smug smirk to be found.
"Hi," Castle chirps.
"Hey," she rasps back, her throat raw.
"Do you want me to warm up the water so you can finish bathing?"
Kate lets out a loud laugh and cranes her neck to kiss him. "Yeah, Castle. That'd be good."
He carries her back out to the bedroom after she's finished, her body clean and relaxed for the first time in days. She doesn't even fight him on it, doesn't tell him that she's entirely capable of getting herself the ten feet from her bathroom to her bed. Water soaks the front of him, stains his jeans dark blue and makes his grey t-shirt almost black.
"You're all wet," she observes when he puts her down - her cast back in place and leg resting on a stack of pillows- and steps back.
"Don't," Kate cuts him off with a laugh, holding up a hand. Castle wiggles his eyebrows at her and she rolls her eyes. "Did you bring clothes?"
He nods. "I put a bag in your hall closet while you were napping yesterday."
"Good." Kate flips back the other side of the covers, pats the empty space. "Strip and get in."
Castle stares at her, his mouth open, hands hanging loose at his side. "Bec - Kate -"
She holds out a hand for him, fingers spread wide in invitation. He doesn't move. Just stares. "Rick," she says softly, trying to extend her hand as far as possible. "I can't come to you right now so please - come here."
He starts forward with a jerk, his want shining in his eyes. Cautious fingers wrap around her own and she tugs him down onto the bed, pleased when he comes with little effort. Kate cups the side of his face and guides him in, brushing her lips against his.
"Surely you don't think what happened in that bathroom is a one time thing, Castle?"
"I -" he pauses, breathes. "I was just trying to help you."
"No," Kate says, pulling back. She strokes his chin with her thumb, looks into his eyes. "You were trying to love me."
He swallows. Nods. "Yes."
"I know." She kisses him again, her hand trailing down his chest until her fingers can hook into the wet waistband of his pants. "I know, Castle. And now -" she thumbs open the button on his jeans, lets her fingers play with the tab of his zipper - "Now, I'm going to love you."
Thank you for reading. Your thoughts and comments are always appreciated.