Eleven months had passed since the fateful day Alexis found her father and stepmother on the floor, blood pooling around them. Beckett heard the story many times but didn't remember any of it, her last memory involved grabbing the hand of her husband, feeling the life fade from her body.
"I thought you were both dead," Alexis told her, voice trembling.
They made it. Several surgeries for her along with months of rehab for Castle eventually resulted in a clean bill of health for both of them. Six months ago, they decided to take advantage of their second chance and go to Paris for a month. They spent hours walking around the city, enjoy the sites. Their nights were spent in each other's arms. Even though they weren't trying, it wasn't long after they got home, a pregnancy test confirmed what she felt in her heart. They were going to have a child.
The news brought them here, today, sitting in Dr. Burke's office. Castle's hand gripped hers tightly, seemingly fearing that if he let go, he might lose her. She gave him a reassuring smile.
"Kate, I have to say I'm surprised that you haven't come to me sooner. After hearing about your recent shooting, I assumed you would make an appointment," Dr. Burke wrote something in his notes.
"I thought I was fine," she said, hoping to relay her concerns. "But then yesterday happened."
"The shooting in the precinct?" Dr. Burke asked. "I heard that one officer was shot."
"Yes," Beckett said, quietly. "Our friend, Kevin Ryan."
"Will he be ok?" The doctor looked from Castle to Beckett.
"The doctors are optimistic. They said he has a good chance at a full recovery." Beckett shared, but hesitated to say the next thing. "But…watching the shooting caused an episode."
"A PTSD episode?" Dr. Burke asked. "What happened?"
"After we got home that night, I panicked. Everywhere I looked, I thought someone was trying to shoot me. I saw Caleb with a gun and Castle lying on the ground all over again. I felt the pain, seeping through my stomach. Castle found me underneath his desk, rocking back and forth." Beckett's lip quivered, the pain of the incident too much for her to relive.
"As you can see, Dr. Burke, Beckett is pregnant. We came to see you because we were concerned about how these episodes might affect our baby. Is there any way to deal with them from a non-medication standpoint?" Castle asked, pulling his wife close to him.
"You can reduce your level of stress. But that will be a hard thing to do while you are on the job. When you are off the job, you may want to take long walks and do generally stress free activities." Dr. Burke suggested. "You can also create a safe space in your home for you to go to when you start to feel symptoms coming on, Kate."
"What if I quit my job?" Beckett blurted out, wondering where that came from. "Will that solve it?"
"Kate, you can't mean that." Castle's eyes widened as his arm stiffened. "This is your dream."
"No, Castle. This is my dream." She patted her stomach. "I always thought I needed to be more and do more. But this is what I fought for."
"But Kate, I don't want you to make a snap decision and regret it later." Castle said. "We could try all the other things first."
"You don't understand Castle," Beckett looked from her husband to Dr. Burke. "I can't put our daughter through what I had to go through. I don't want her wondering if her mom is going to come home at night. I want her to feel secure and loved. I won't put my job before our family. I won't."
"What would you do?" Castle asked. "You once told me that you could never see yourself staying home. That you would get bored."
"Maybe I will, maybe I won't." Beckett said. "This is what I fought for. I never dreamed I would get to be a mother, Castle. I never dreamed that I could have a husband that loved me like you do, a family that would make forgot all about the things I have been chasing for so many years."
"If that's what you really want." Castle said. "Maybe you should ask for a leave of absence, so that you can go back."
"No, I'm sure. I'm ready. In a couple of years maybe I could revisit the senator idea. If I get bored, I could also go back to school. I probably won't want to give up a career forever." She pulled both of Castle's hands into hers. "But for now, I just want this. I want us. All of us. I want to be there when she takes her first steps and says her first words. I want to be there for first smiles and laughs and sickness."
She turned to Dr. Burke. "Five years ago, I told you I wanted to be more than who I am. I think I'm there now. But that person isn't a cop anymore. That person is a wife and a mother, and has possibly a whole other career down the line."
Beckett noticed the widening of Burke's smile as he said his next words. "Kate, you have become everything you ever wanted to be. Some think courage involves facing your fear and powering through. But courage is actually something much deeper. Courage is choosing the thing closest to your heart, even if it means letting go of something you once cherished."
Kate nodded, her eyes filling with tears, turning towards her husband as she placed his hand on her stomach. "All I want is us."