A/N: This is my entry for the 2016 Castle Summer Ficathon - a mini-fic which I hope will approach or exceed 25,000 words. If you want to contribute, visit castleficathon on tumblr for details.

SPOILER ALERT: This begins directly after the scene in the series finale where Castle and Beckett have been shot and, in my headcanon, survive long enough for emergency personnel to save them.

Throughout the rush of activity in the loft, behind the cacophony of emergency personnel and the voices she recognized, there was one all-important presence that she could not see, hear, or sense.

"Castle," she tried to shout, but it came out in a whisper. Maybe he was trying to call her as well and she just couldn't hear him. She tried again, and this time the EMT leaned close and asked her to repeat it.

"Castle," said Kate. "Where is he? I can't hear him."

The medic glanced to one side and said, "They're loading him now on a gurney."


"Monitors are lit and active," said the man, "a good sign. We're taking you both to St. Simon's. Try to stay still, okay?"

Alive, she chanted in her head. He's alive.

Consciousness was a fickle visitor over the next few days. Every time Kate's brain swam to the surface, her first word was always the same.


Someone must have explained to the medical personnel what she meant; after the first few times she said it, they would answer with, "He's alive," or "In surgery," or "I'll check", after which, usually, no further information was forthcoming. She appreciated the effort going into keeping her alive, she knew they were concerned about her, she fully intended to pull through and recognize these amazing people.

It wouldn't be worth it, though, if Castle didn't make it.