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TITLE: Miracles

RATING: T

SUMMARY: Post 8x22 'Crossfire,' because I had to get in on the bandwagon.

A/N #1: I will be incorporating this into a much longer story that Kelly (at Uofmcowgirl) and I will soon be working on. I know that I said I wouldn't write any Season 8 stories, but I'd forgotten that we've been planning one for a while. This story takes place from the moments after Caleb Brown shoots Rick. It will be a one-shot, but probably a very long one shot.

A/N #2: I'll explain my whole take on Caleb Brown in my long story.

MIRACLES

Kate Beckett was sitting on the bed getting ready to remove her shoes when she heard two things that concerned her. The first was a second voice besides her husband, which was impossible because she knew they were the only two people in the loft. And then she heard a thud, which sounded like someone falling. Grabbing her gun, she stepped out of the bedroom into a scene of abject horror. Caleb Brown, who was supposed to be dead, was approaching her husband, who was lying bleeding in front of the stove.

"Caleb!" She shouted, shooting at her target. She hit him, catching him off guard.

Caleb aimed and fired at her, so Kate sent a double-tap into his chest, watching as he slid to the floor, shock coloring his features when he realized that he was dying. Seconds later, he was dead. That was when the adrenaline wore off and Kate collapsed to the floor, blood coloring the bottom of the white blouse she was wearing under her leather jacket.

She could hear Rick trying to move toward her, which strengthened her resolve. Using every ounce of energy that she had, she crawled toward him, the pain almost too much to bear. Their love story couldn't end like this, not with them dying in the middle of their home. She had wasted so much time. She'd been so stupid. There was no way that it was going to end like this. Finally, she reached his side, feeling his fingers clasping hers as she rolled onto her back, the world around her slowly fading to black. "Rick, I love you," she managed to whisper as she lost consciousness.

Alexis returned home after finishing up some paperwork at the P.I. office with Hayley. She was so relieved that this mess with LokSat had come to an end. She was glad that her father and Kate were finally safe. Her father had told her, her Grams, and Hayley while they'd been on lockdown that his plan was to take Kate to Paris after this was all over. They'd all agreed that sounded like an excellent plan.

Alexis put her key in the lock, hoping that she wasn't interrupting her dad and Kate in the middle of celebrating. She just wanted to get some clothes and stay with Grams for a few days. The moment that she entered the loft, Alexis knew that something was wrong. From where she stood in the doorway, she saw a man against the wall between the dining room and the kitchen. "Dad! Kate!"

"'Lexis," Castle managed to groan. "'Lexis, help. Shot."

"Daddy!" Alexis ran into the kitchen, horrified to find both her dad and Kate lying in the kitchen floor, blood pooling around them both. She knelt down and put her fingers to Kate's neck, relieved when she found a faint pulse. She yanked out her cell phone and called 9-1-1. "I need the police and two ambulances to 595 Broome Street! Please hurry! There's so much blood!"

"Sweetie, calm down. Do you know who shot the victims?"

"There's a man in the kitchen. He's dead. He looks like . . . no, that isn't possible," she whispered.

"Sweetie, what is your name?" The dispatcher asked.

"Alexis Castle. He shot my dad and Kate. But, he's supposed to be dead."

"So, you know the man who did the shooting?"

"Is an ambulance coming? They're both hurt really bad!"

"The ambulance is on the way, Alexis. So are the police. Now, do you know the man who shot your dad and his friend?"

"She's his wife. She's a captain with the 12th Precinct. Her name is Kate Beckett. The man who shot them is supposed to be dead. They were investigating his murder. I need to call her team!"

"Alexis, stay on the line. The ambulance will be there any minute now. Then you can call whoever you need to."

"'Lexis, Kate," Castle whispered.

"Dad, it's okay. Help is on the way. Don't talk."

"Is Kate okay?"

"Dad, she's fine. Try to stay calm," she urged him when she heard the doorbell. "The ambulance is here," she told the dispatcher.

"Okay, Alexis. I'll let you go now."

Alexis ran to the door and opened it. The paramedics ran in and immediately began tending to both Castle and Kate, shouting out all kinds of medical-lese while Alexis stood by, watching and praying. She took out her phone and began making phone calls, first to her Grams, and then to Ryan and Esposito.

***CCC***

Alexis was standing outside of the trauma room at New York Presbyterian, occasionally pacing, and constantly stopping every medical person who came out of either of the two rooms where they were feverishly working on saving both her dad and Kate. "Alexis!" Martha ran up to her with Hayley close behind her. "Alexis, what in the hell happened? How are Richard and Katherine?"

"I don't know, Grams. It's bad. That's all that I know. I went home to get some clothes and I found Caleb Brown dead and . . . dad and Kate. I don't understand any of this!"

"Wait! I thought that Caleb Brown was already dead," Hayley was just as confused as Alexis was. "Did you call Ryan and Esposito?"

"We're here," Esposito called out as he and Ryan ran up and embraced Alexis. "We're here. How are they?"

"Nobody will tell me anything. My dad was in and out, but Kate . . . there was so much blood! Dad just kept telling me to help Kate."

"Gates is going to help us figure out what's going on. Alexis, your dad is going to be fine," Ryan tried to reassure her.

The doctor stepped out and looked at the anxious family gathered around him. "Ms. Castle, I'm Dr. Hunter. Your father was shot in the upper chest. The bullet went into his lung and is lodged there. We're about to take him up to surgery. He's strong and right now he's stable, so I am optimistic that he's going to make a full recovery."

"Do you know the condition of Det. Beckett?" Ryan asked.

"No, I don't. But I can see what I can find out," he walked over to the trauma room next door.

"We need to call Jim," Martha said.

"Is that Kate's father?" Hayley asked as the boys nodded. "Rick said something about him being out of town on business. If anybody has his cell phone number, I'll call him."

"No offense, Hayley, but it might be better if Javi or I call him. He knows us," Ryan said. "I've got his number."

"Ms. Castle?" Dr. Hunter came back out. "They're about to take Det. Beckett up to surgery. Right now, it's touch and go."

"She survived a bullet to the chest. She's got to survive this," Espo said through clenched teeth. "They didn't take down LokSat to have this take them out."

***CCC***

"Katie? Katie, can you hear me?"

Kate's eyes flickered opened and she found herself looking into the concerned eyes of her father. "Dad? I thought that you were in Phoenix."

"I was and then I got a call saying that you and Rick had been shot, so now I'm here."

"Rick? Where is he? Where's Castle?" The monitors that she was hooked up to began beeping frantically.

"Shhh, Katie. Shh. Rick's all right. He took a bullet to his lung, but he's out of surgery. He's resting comfortably. You need to rest."

"I thought that he was dying, dad. Caleb Brown . . . he was supposed to be dead. How could he not be dead?"

"Katie, the boys and Gates are looking into it. Right now, you need to rest. Get some sleep. I'll be right here when you wake up."

"I need Rick," her voice was slurred as she drifted back to sleep.

Jim Beckett wearily rubbed his face before stepping out of the room and down the hall to the room where Castle was sleeping with his daughter and mother standing vigil. He lightly tapped on the door before stepping inside. "How is he?" He asked, keeping his voice low.

"He's okay," Alexis forced a smile. "How's Kate?"

"She's stable. She woke up and asked for Rick. I convinced her to go back to sleep. Hopefully she'll see him in a day or two."

"Kate?" Castle's words were slurred. "Kate?"

"Dad? Daddy, it's me. Can you hear me?"

Castle's eyes opened and focused on his daughter's. "Alexis," he gave her a small smile. "Hi, baby."

"Hi, daddy," Alexis laughed through her tears. "Grams here, too, and Jim."

"Jim? Is Kate okay? Please tell me she's alive," his voice was choked with tears.

"She's stable, Rick," Jim was quick to assure him. "She was asking for you. The doctor said hopefully you can see her tomorrow or the day after."

"No," he began trying to get out of bed. "Now."

"Richard, no!" Martha and Jim gently held him back. "You've got a chest full of stitches! Katherine's going to be all right. You'll see her soon enough."

"Need . . . need to be with her, Mother! She . . . she saved . . . my life. I've got to be with her," he began sobbing.

"Richard, Richard, calm down. Alexis and I will see what we can do to get the two of you together. All right? Let us talk to the doctors. I promise you that I will get you together with Katherine. I promise you as your mother and have I ever broken a promise to you?"

"Yes, repeatedly," he managed to tease, but he reached for her hand and brought it to his lips. "Thank you."

***CCC***

The incessant beeping was driving Kate nuts. She just wanted it to stop. Her stomach hurt where Caleb's bullet had gone into her. She opened her eyes and saw that it was dark, not pitch black dark, but just enough to see. Her eyes drifted over to the other side of the room and she knew that she had to be seeing things. "Alexis?"

"Kate?" Alexis jumped up and ran over to her bedside. "Dad's been asking for you so many times."

"He's in here, too?"

"Yeah, he kept trying to get out of bed and come to you. We convinced his doctor that the only way that he was going to stay put was to move him in here with you. Once we moved him, he actually seemed to rest easier."

"Who found us?"

"I did. Dad woke up a couple of times, but I couldn't wake you up, Kate," Alexis' voice was thick with tears.

"Is Caleb dead?"

"Yeah, he's really dead this time."

"Are we both going to be okay?"

"Yeah. Your doctor's name is Addison. She told your dad that he'll come in in the morning to talk to you. She said something about miracles. You should try to get some rest."

"You, too," she reached out and squeezed Alexis' hand before closing her eyes and falling back into a drug-induced sleep.

When she opened her eyes again, she smiled when she found herself looking into the deep blue eyes of the man she'd referred to as the love of her life to the man who tried to kill her and him. "Hi, Castle," she drawled. "Are you supposed to be up?"

"They got me out of bed about an hour ago. I'm supposed to be taking it easy, but I had to see you."

"Sit," she moved over as he sat on the edge of her bed. "I didn't envision the end of our love story to be lying bleeding to death side by side on our kitchen floor."

"Well, thanks to my daughter's quick thinking, it's not going to end that way. I'm going to be released in a few days, but you're going to be in here a little longer than that."

"Can we still go to Paris?" Her voice caught.

"Oh baby, we'll go anywhere and do anything that you want to do. You saved my life, Kate. He was about to shoot me again and then you were there, being all bad-ass Beckett. My bad-ass Beckett," he smiled.

They heard someone clearing their throat and looked over to find a woman in her early 30's standing behind Castle. From the doctor's coat, Kate assumed her to be the Dr. Addison that Alexis had told her about earlier. "Mrs. Castle, I'm Dr. Addison. I wanted to wait for you to be more fully conscious before I came in to speak to you . . . and your husband," she smiled at Castle.

"Is something wrong?" Kate's eyes flitted between the doctor and Castle.

"No, under the circumstances, I'd consider you very lucky. Both of you."

"Well, we've both been lucky more than a few times," Kate took Castle's hand.

"So, you don't know?"

"I don't know what? Doctor, is something's wrong, please just come out and say it."

"I'm sorry, Mrs. Castle, I didn't mean to alarm you. It's just when I mentioned the both of you being lucky, it wasn't you and your husband that I was talking about. There's no easy way to say this, but you're pregnant, Kate."

"I'm what?" She's what?" Both of them shouted at the same time, as Dr. Addison began laughing. Kate managed to recover from the shock first. "The baby's okay?"

"The baby is absolutely perfect. You might have to be monitored during your pregnancy to make sure that your scar doesn't rupture, but other than that, this baby's survival is nothing short of a miracle."

"Can I ask you one more question?" Kate couldn't stop the tears from falling down her face. "What is your first name?"

"My name is Lily, Kate."

"Lily Castle has a nice ring to it, huh Castle?"

"It has a perfect ring," he kissed her. "We're having a baby, Beckett."

***CCC***

Lily Beckett Castle was born a little over seven months later. And then three years after Lily came twins Jake and Reece. Life was busy and full in the Castle household, but as the couple had once promised each other during their engagement so many years earlier, it was never boring. That was for certain. They may have been many things, but dull wasn't even on the list.

A/N #3: Like I said, I'll be posting something much longer sometime over the summer. I will also have a much fluffier story posted in the next few weeks, so look out for it.

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