A/N: As always, not mine.

"Today, we honor a true American hero. This remarkable woman has brought hundreds of murderers to justice over the years with the NYPD, and most recently aided in the takedown and apprehension of both Senator William Bracken and Mason Wood, in addition to their extensive criminal network. Therefore, on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General of the United States, I am very pleased to present this Certificate of Honor to NYPD Captain Katherine Beckett."

At the sound of her name and the accompanying applause, Kate walks out of the wings and up to the stage, her nerves evident in her eyes as flashbulbs pop around her. She shakes the outstretched hand of the Attorney General and several other officials then steps up to the podium. Her mind flashes to the last time that she spoke in front of a large crowd of people and she anxiously rubs her thumb against the long scar on her side as she seeks out her husband in the small crowd in the auditorium. She finds him looking back at her with nothing but pride and love in his eyes and he offers her a small smile and a thumbs up as their eyes meet. Shaking her head to bring herself back to the present, she gathers her courage, clears her throat nervously and swallows as she begins.

"Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. Attorney General, thank you for having me here today. I am so honored to be here to accept this award. It has been my life's ambition to bring justice to those who no longer have a voice, and to bring peace to their families." Her voice hitches with emotion as she continues.

"My own mother was one of the many victims of Senator Bracken's ambition and greed, and finding the truth in her senseless death meant everything to me." Kate motions to her husband, the tears beginning to well in her eyes. "In addition, as some of you may know, my partner and I were both injured by an associate of Mr. Wood's after his arrest. It has been a long recovery for us both, but I am happy to say we have both come through the other side stronger than ever." She turns to meet Rick's eyes again as she begins the next part of her speech.

"None of this would have ever been possible without this man right here; my best friend, my husband, and most importantly my partner: Richard Castle. Rick, your endless search for the story, your attention to detail, and your unwavering faith in the truth make you an extraordinary man, and one I am proud to call the man I love. You have been there in the darkest of times, lifted me up more times than I can count, and continue to stand by me each and every day. I couldn't do what I do today without you. We are stronger together than we are apart, and I love you." The tears begin to fall as she sees the wetness begin to gather in her husband's eyes, the emotions of the past few months finally overwhelming her.

"Together, we will continue to find justice through our work with the NYPD. I will hang this proudly as a reminder of why I do what I do. Thank you very much."

As the applause thunders around her and the cameras begin to flash in her eyes again, Kate is pulled into handshakes and conversation with the others sitting behind her on stage. After a few minutes, she feels a presence behind her and turns to find her husband's smiling face looking down at her. She quickly thanks the few that she is conversing with, excuses herself, and throws herself into Rick's arms as the tears begin again. He braces himself as he wraps his left arm around her in return and tightens his grip on the cane in his right hand, the only outward remaining sign of the gunshot wound that had left him bleeding on his own living room floor several months earlier. "Kate, I am so proud of you, my love," he whispers into her ear as he rubs small circles into her back with the hand wrapped tightly around her. "You are the extraordinary one. Your courage, your passion, your belief in justice. You amaze me every day, and I am just so lucky to be here in your world." At his words, she buries her face in his strong shoulder, her heart filled with love for her partner and husband.

After a few moments, she finally pulls herself together, steps out of his arms, and intertwines their fingers as she begins to lead him down the stairs leading to the stage and out of the small auditorium, noticing that most of the crowd has long dispersed as they walk together down the aisle toward the doors at the back. "Babe, I meant what I said. We are stronger together. And no matter what happens in the future, I'm not going to forget that ever again. Now let's go back home. Our home."

A/N 2: Prompt: Kate is labeled a hero after taking down LokSat and there is some kind of public event in acknowledgement of it that requires a speech. She gives all credit to Castle who's stood by her through everything. She can't get through it without crying. This prompt was submitted by tumblr user beauty-passion-fierce-intellect and was filled as a gift for their generous contribution to GoodLuckStana dot com. See all the prompts and fills at GoodLuckStana dot tumblr dot com slash tagged slash GLSfill. Thank you so much for your donation and for your prompt! I hope that I did it some justice for you.

Also, thanks to all for your support as I dive back into writing again. Thanks especially to Maribea for the read through and for always being my personal cheerleader, and to the GoodLuckStana team for inviting me to be a part of this.