*Author's Note: Needing something to jump start myself out of writer's block, I decided to experiment with doing a tweet fic, using the thread option. It worked, big time. I'd expected a small, quick, maybe a handful of tweets length fic, but ended up with this—a 1400 word oneshot. So now here I share it with you on FFnet. The original thread can be found on my twitter LordofKavaka

The Unexpected

a "47 Seconds" AU

"I was shot in the chest and I remember every second of it."

In the observation room, Castle stood there, rooted to the spot, unable to do anything but stand there, mute in stunned disbelief. Had he really just heard that correctly?

No, he shook his head. She wouldn't lie to him. Would she?

Too overwhelmed by what he'd just heard, Castle was oblivious to everything else but the tumult of emotions and thoughts doing battle in his mind. By the time he snapped back to the present, Beckett was gone. The interrogation room stood empty before him. No Bobby. No Detective Beckett. No one.

He let out a breath, his chest fierce and tight. He swallowed hard, desperately attempting to regain some control of his warring emotions. He was angry, hurt, crushed... confused.

Suddenly the door opened, startling him so much he jumped. He turned, seeing Beckett enter, glancing at him with a cautious expression, worrying her bottom lip. He just stared at her, unsure what to say or do. All he could so was stare.

"Castle?" she questioned, hesitantly.

He opened his mouth to respond, but found he couldn't. Still in shock, he reckoned. He merely gazed at her as she gazed back, keen eyes reading him like no one else could. She pursed her lips, coming to a conclusion.

"You heard."

All Castle could do was nod.

Beckett ducked her head down, fiddled with her hands. She suddenly looked very nervous, anxious really. When she looked back up at him, her eyes were apologetic.

No. Castle shook his head. He didn't want her pity. Not now. Not ever.

"Why?" was all he could manage.

"I don't know," Beckett said, eyebrows knitting together. "I didn't mean for it to drag on. Not this long. I wanted to tell you. I did. But..."

Castle shook his head, overwhelmed. "Why lead me on if you didn't feel the same?"

"What!?" she gasped, eyes going wide as she stared at him with a pained look of confusion. "No. No!" her head shook violently. "You misunderstood?"

"Which part?" he snapped back, hurt rising up in his voice.

"The why," Beckett said, meeting his eyes with a firm gaze. "I didn't lie because I didn't feel the same," Beckett explained a length, working slowly over her words, deliberate and careful. She carded her fingers through her luscious hair, centering herself. "I wasn't ready. To accept it. What happened. What you said."

"And now?" he demanded, being brisk, wanting to escape this humiliation. He'd leave now, if you could, but she was blocking the door.

Her eyes flicked up to him, tentative and afraid.

"I've been seeing a therapist," she admitted.

Castle inhaled sharply, surprised at the admission. Kate Beckett did not like to display any weakness. To do so now, in front of him, was a big deal, and he acknowledged that sacrifice.

"I didn't know you were seeing a therapist," he said, the tension draining from him.

"Yeah well," she replied, averting her gaze momentarily before meeting his once again. "I didn't want to make any excuses. I just wanted to put in the time and do the work. But I think I'm almost where I want to be now."

Castle licked his lips. "And where is that?"

He took a cautious step towards her. She was like a flame, and he was the moth. He couldn't resist. Beckett offered him a slight smile.

"Acceptance," she answered, pausing for a beat. "Of everything that happened. Everything." She met his gaze. "Everything."

He released a heavy breath, pulse quickening. He raked his fingers through his head, still uncertain and confused. "I... Kate... um... after," he mumbled out, shaking his head, gesturing towards the interrogation room. "I need you to say it."

Beckett bit her lower lip as her brow scrunched up. She looked hesitant. Castle frowned, disappointed. She wasn't ready. Not really. He just couldn't catch a break with her. He sighed, growing weary of this endless circling. He couldn't do this forever.

"Say it again!" she suddenly exclaimed, causing him to jerk with start at the vehemence of her words. "Say it again," Beckett repeated. "And this time I'll answer. Do it right."

Castle cocked his head, perplexed. Why was she playing with him? Was she really that cruel? What the hell, he thought. Might as well get this over with. Rolling his shoulders, he decided to surrender to the inevitable, get it over with. The quicker he did so, the quicker he could start the healing process.

"All right," he relented with a nod.

Squaring himself up, prepared for the rejection, Castle meet her eyes.

"I love you, Kate," he said, trying for flat and unemotional, but was unable to hide the truth and feeling behind the words. He did love her. More so than he ever thought possible.

Beckett looked at him for a long moment. Her eyes were large and expressive. His brow furrowed as he watched her seem to come alight with... joy? She smiled, radiating with it. She released a breath that she had seemed to have carried for a long time.

And then she gave him her answer.

"Oh, Castle... I love you too."

Again, Castle was shocked into stunned disbelief. That was not the answer he'd been expecting. He'd worked himself up thinking he'd get rejected. He had not expected her to return his declaration.

Beckett reached up, trailing her fingertips down his jaw. "I love you, Castle," she repeated, reinforcing her statement. "I'm sorry. So sorry, for making you doubt that." Her eyes flicked down to his lips and then back up to meet his surprised eyes. "Kiss me."

And he did. With much passion. Castle molded her beautiful face in his palms, as he dipped his head down slanted his mouth over hers in a reverent and loving kiss. Beckett meet him, nipping and nibbling, deepening the kiss as she wrapped her arms around his neck.

Castle skimmed his hands down her slender neck and shoulders, finding her slim waist. He squeezed her hips, tilting his head to kiss her harder, with more passion. Her fingers found his hair, tugging, desperate. It was hot. So much hotter than their undercover kiss.

"Ahem," someone cleared their throat, startling both Castle and Beckett, who drew apart as if zapped.

Glancing towards the door, Castle spotted a wide-eyed Kevin Ryan, looking very uncomfortable and apologetic.

"Um... sorry to interrupt, but... er...," he stammered.

"Just snapped it out!" an annoyed Beckett glowered.

"Um... oh, yeah, we've got something you should see... maybe a possible lead on the case," Ryan continued, still looking flustered, like he'd walked in on his parents having sex. "Um... when you two are ready." And then ducked out just as fast.

After Ryan had escaped his embarrassment, Beckett turned back to Castle with a soft smile. He was still trying to get a hold of his breath, completely overwhelmed by the drastic turn in event. She kissed him lightly, drawing him back.

"After the case, we'll talk."

"After," he nodded, agreeing. "And then..."

"Then...," Beckett continued, drawing it out with a playful smirk, lightly brushing her fingers down his chest. "We make up for lost time."

"I can definitely get behind that," Castle breathed out.

"I sure hope so," she winked.

And then she was leaving the room, all business and fire, ready to crack the case and solve it. Castle stood there for a long moment, and then released a breath, scrubbing a hand down his face. He was glad he'd stayed and hadn't been an idiot, storming off in some fit. He shuddered to think what would have happened if he had. Pointlessly drama, he thought. Shaking it off, he smiled, feeling his heart alight with happiness he hadn't felt in so long. Beckett loved him back. She'd asked him to kiss her.

Once this case was wrapped up, they'd talk, and then... hopefully do much more pleasurable things. His smile widened. And, feeling much more like himself, Richard Castle hurriedly left the observation room and joined Detective Beckett out in the bullpen. As Esposito filled them in on the development, Castle subtly brushed his hand affectionately along Beckett's knuckles as he stood closer to her than was strictly necessary. Her eyes met his, and she smiled.

Standing across from them, the other detective was oblivious to the change in his friends' demeanor towards one another, while Ryan noticed it all, unsure how he'd tell his partner what he'd witnessed. Even though it had been embarrassing, he was happy for them. If there were any two people that deserved happiness, it was them. As the realization struck, Ryan frowned, suddenly pondering an odd and unexpected question:

Who won the bet?