Disclaimer: Not mine.

A/N: Reupload of a very old one shot that was an episode tag of sorts. HEED THE RATING.

Her knee is bruised and her elbow feels a little achy but she ignores it. Watching the water swirl around her feet, she doesn't even hear him until his toes fill her line of sight but she's been expecting him. She's been waiting, letting the water soak into her skin, wash away the day and pound against her muscles. The thoughts filling her head, the heaviness in her chest, the sting of tears, she wants it gone. She wants to just focus on something else.

And Castle offers himself up without question, stepping into her, saying nothing as she leans heavily against his shoulder, arms wrapping around his waist, fingers digging into his back. She feeds off of him, the energy, the comfort, the way he doesn't prod her into talking - not yet. She knows later he'll ask if she wants to talk and she will. For now he holds her beneath the cleansing spray of the shower.

His hands are almost stern, pressing into her and she wonders if he's upset too. If the clutch of his palms, the desperation in the heavy breaths that pant in her ear. The knot in her chest tightens. Silly inquiring mind, she knows he probably is. The same way she hates when he's sad or hurt, how helpless she feels.

The water slips over them, coating them, refreshing and warm, an embrace all its own. Something familiar and simple. The sound of it raining down and she almost feels better. Almost. But not quite and just one thought will bring the tears back to the surface.

"I would -"

"Shh, Castle just..." She trails off, not wanting to tell him to hurt his feelings by telling him to stop talking. So she tries to shush him, ease him with a few kisses to his shoulder, the water that clings to his skin warm against her lips. But he isn't giving up easily, she can feel it thrumming below, the anxiety making his muscles tense.

And when she opens her mouth against his neck, tongue darting out for a taste, a mix of him and the moisture that's gathered, she hears his voice.

"I would bring her back if -" She knows the rest without hearing it, slamming her mouth into his. Harsh, forcing him to quiet because if he finishes that sentence, she'll break. She can't think about it anymore. She doesn't want to. What she wants is currently right in front of her, pressing into her, tongue tangling with hers until he's turning it soft, steering her in a different direction - something not as desperate.

She needs this, the burn of his skin, infinitely hotter than the water pounding against them. The brush of fingers over her hips, pushing her until she feels the cool tile against her back, the words dripping from lips, riding the drops of water streaming over his face.

"Kate, you're hurting." Understatement, she almost scoffs but it won't come out. The knot in her throat holds it captive, keeps it caged. Her body aches. Her chest aches. Everything. But it's the crack in her armor, the way her emotions are pouring out that makes her open her eyes, watch as his lashes collect the spray of mist.

"Make me stop thinking."

"Kate," She needs him to stop being the gentleman, to just shut up because she doesn't want to talk about it anymore. She wants to forget that the man who ordered a hit on her mother is still alive because she saved him.

She needs to forget. And with a roll of her hips and a whisper of 'please' his control snaps. She feels it in the way he pushes, his fingers digging into her skin, his lips caressing over her jaw, a sharp nip when he reaches her mouth. Knowing what she needs and how to take care of the desperation in her. He takes, and gives when she scrapes her nails over his shoulders, his hand wrapping around her thigh, hitching her leg higher, opening her up, letting him in, letting him see that she's close to losing every shred of her control. He gives as she takes.

He's the one holding her, keeping her propped up and strong. His hands steady against her wet skin, skimming up over her ribs, pressing into every indentation before resting beneath her breast, thumb ghosting her nipple. Her body is quaking, she feels it, burrows closer because she needs this. She needs him.

And later she'll open up, let him see that the wounds are now raw, seeping, ugly as her mind races to bring up the devastation ripping into her chest and the anger that intertwines but right now she'll let him be the solid force at her front, the one pulling her closer.

He keeps her head up and when she rolls her body into his, a low rumble echoes through the space surrounding them, bouncing off the tiled walls forming a cocoon of sound and she knows that in this moment he'll give her anything she wants, everything she needs. Her mouth on his breathing into him, fingers grasping one of his hands, guiding it. Showing him.

Pushing on the back of his hand until it slips between their bodies, searching and she lets go, feeling him move on his own, the tips skimming along her folds and it isn't about drawing it out. It's not about making it sweet. Not when she's like this and he's clinging. It becomes a whirlwind, something lifting, morphing on its own until she's panting, rocking against his hand. She tells him with one word. A rough 'now' bitten into the air the moment she feels him hot and hard.

He kisses her, mouths dancing, tasting and he swallows her moan when he slides inside. A sharp thrust that has the air evacuating her lungs, the burn of despair moving from her chest to linger low in her abdomen. A twist of arousal that coats it, weaves into the threading and it becomes something she craves, something she wants to burst. The freedom the thought offers. If she can just get there. Climbing him, she tries, both legs wrapping around, mouth against his shoulder.

And that's the moment, the one that solidifies the pulse between her thighs, the longing she has the very second he sets a rhythm. Quick. In, out, rock, twist. The whimper gets stuck in her throat, clogged behind the emotion. The way he's clinging too tightly, almost hurting, the fact that she clutches just as hard. Water misting between, an obscene wet slap of their bodies with every move.

The groan she feels rumble in his chest, the sharp press of his teeth to that spot just below her ear - the one that makes her jerk against him. It's reincarnating. The way her muscles tighten, preparing, the pulse of her walls around him as she tries to stop thinking and just let go. Let it all go. The day, the way she feels. The fact that she's failed.

The pace falters when her shoulders start to shake, the tears leaking out, but she manages a strangled 'don't stop' and he listens. He must need it too. The closeness. The release. His breath is hot and cool. Her wet skin is indecisive and sensitive with every pant and sigh he breathes. Every kiss brings her closer and his hands are busy, holding her up, trying to keep their slick bodies together.

Her legs tighten around him, making it harder for him to move and she's the one to snake her hand between them, pushing herself over the edge when it's all too much. When she wants the clenching to stop, the ache in her body to just leave with a burst of pleasure. And he whispers to her, words she can't make out above the sounds from her mouth, the water, their bodies.

Words she's not sure she wants to hear right now.

"Castle," It's choked out, a sob against his shoulder when her toes curl, her muscles spasm, tensing as she unravels around him. It's a mantra - his name - a chant to calm herself, body filled with tremors and his still seeking, pushing in, sliding through her. She tries to quiet but she's breaking, the name of the man she's in love with becoming lost when the knot in her throat bubbles up as her body goes limp, breaks free.

She doesn't hear him, just feels the gust of air he expels from his lungs, the absolute stillness as he comes undone, turns himself inside out at her mercy. It takes minutes, the silent tears and occasional sobs, the way he rubs at her back, the water suddenly encasing them completely and maybe that's how she notices that they're no longer standing.

They've become a mess, a blob of limbs tangled, her writer on his knees, still clinging and she's finally pulling back, searching for his eyes, watching the water plaster his hair to his head. She'll be the one to pick them both up, the one to tilt her face into the spray and let the cleansing begin.

She's lying on her stomach, replaying everything over and over in her head, staring into the light. She's nowhere near sleep. Exhausted and incapable of finding peace.

He's quiet, awake because she can feel the fingers slipping through her hair, curving against her ear, the gentle brush that gives her the courage to be better, to be open when she wants to hide, to fall back into the same old patterns. Words slip out, precise and heavy in the silence, her face still buried in the pillow, faced away from him.

"She would have liked you." She feels his jolt, the shock that she broke their tacit bubble and she turns towards him, catches the comfort he offers with just a gaze, her cheek connecting with his palm. Her fingers reaching to stroke over his neck, tempted to bury her nose right there, breathe him in. She doesn't. Not yet.

"I would have liked her too."

"Are you okay?"

"I will be, when you are." And that brings a hint of a smile, a barest glimpse. She slides closer, toes pushing against the tops of his feet, seeking the warmth that radiates, knees bumping and she groans at the discomfort. "Knee?"

"Yeah. It'll be fine. Just knocked it pretty good on the way down."

"I wouldn't have saved him."

"Castle," She's not sure what to say, what to do because she doesn't understand it herself. She doesn't want to save him. She wants him put away, rotting in a cell, never to see the outside world again. "I -"

"How's the elbow?"


"I hate when you run towards danger." And just that hushed confession has her pressing her entire front to his, chest to chest, legs tangling. Her fingers pushing their way up into his hair. This man is her future and that's what she's going to focus on.