Esposito looks at the clock yet again. This is the last place he imagined he'd be on a Friday night. Just a few hours ago he was at the precinct bragging to Ryan about his hot date for tonight. Of course, that was before Beckett had scared the hell out of them.


The detective looks up shocked to see Castle running towards him, his eyes as panicked as his voice, "Easy bro. Beckett's fine."

"Fine?" Castle has never hated that useless word more than in this moment, "What happened?"

"Bad case of the flu. She took a header in interrogation." With Castle looking like he is about to jump out of his skin, Esposito makes a point to keep his voice calm.

Castle's jaw drops, "Ouch"

"It was crazy bro. One minute Beckett's standing there playing the perp like a fiddle and the next bam! She's flat on her back." Recounting the scene, Esposito winces at the embarrassed look on Beckett's face when she came to. Before he came to the hospital, he'd made it clear to everyone within earshot that there'd be trouble if anyone dared to repeat that story. Of course, that doesn't include him or Ryan. Esposito can't help but smile at the thought of torturing her with it, "Docs want her to stay overnight."

Relieved Castle sits down in the hall across from Esposito, "Thank god she's ok."

"How was L.A.?"

"Sunshine, tequila, hot girls in teeny bikinis," not quite convinced his muse is okay, the author fails miserably at an attempt to flash his trademark playboy smile, "got back this morning."

"How'd you know Beckett was here? You got spies following her when you're not around."

"No, but that's not a bad idea." Castle sighs. With all due respect to Esposito, what he really wants is to see for himself that Beckett's okay, "Had lunch with Alexis, then some meetings this afternoon and thought I'd stop by the precinct to see what I'd missed before going home. Karpowski told me Beckett was here. I tried calling her a few times but it went straight to voice mail." By few he meant ten and if he were being completely honest, Castle would be confessing that as soon as Karpowski mentioned hospital, Beckett and ambulance he was already out the door without hearing what had actually happened. All he knew was that he needed to get to her.

Esposito smirks and Castle stares at him with wide, innocent eyes, "What?"

"Nothing bro." Esposito's sure the only thing Castle wanted to see at the precinct was one tall, hot detective with the initials KB. The writer's never been shy about his physical attraction to Beckett but Esposito can't quite figure out why he refuses to admit that he has actual feelings for her. As much as he wants to know the answer, he knows now is not the time. Anyway, he's sure he'll have another opportunity. "You couldn't reach her because we had to confiscate her cell phone. It was either that or the doctors were going to restrain her."

For the first time since hearing Beckett was in the hospital, Castle relaxes as an image of a scantily clad Kate Beckett restrained in his bed flashes through his mind.

"That is sick bro, real sick."

Castle smiles, the mischievous twinkle back in his eye "Yet so incredibly sexy."

Leaning against the door, Esposito laughs as he shifts his eyes towards a closed observation room his boss occupies, "Beckett's in there trying to figure out how to get them to spring her tonight."

As if on cue, Kate Beckett's voice can now be heard in the hallway. In an instant, Castle's fantasy takes a backseat to concern and he moves towards her room, "She seems pretty upset. Maybe I should…"

Putting his hand up to his friend's waist, Esposito shakes his head, "Not if you value your life."

Castle raises an eyebrow at Esposito's sudden change in tone.

Esposito looks around the hallways, "Look, she's alright. Ryan's in there," he lowers his voice, "thing is Beckett hates hospitals and the emergency rooms of New York City don't like her very much either."

Castle laughs, "Right. You really expect me to believe Wonder Woman's afraid of hospitals?" Over recent months, Beckett, Esposito and Ryan had taken to pranking him on a fairly regular basis and he's been at several hospitals with Beckett without any problem. Unconvinced, he stares at Esposito who still isn't smiling, "You can't be serious?"

"As a heart attack. She's fine with visiting them but tell her she can't leave and the control freak completely wigs out. Always refuses to stay and 90% of the time she gets her way."

Now he's even more intrigued, "And the other 10%?"

"Lanie usually comes in and works her sisterhood voodoo but she's …"

"Out of town. "

"Yup. Too bad for us and Beckett because this is not going to end well."

"So why is Ryan in there trying to convince her and not you?" Of the two detectives Esposito is always the one keeping an eye on Beckett. He hides it with good natured teasing and grumbling but Castle knows Esposito is very protective of Kate.

"Ryan drew the short straw," cracking the door with a big smile on his face.

From the doorway, the two men listen to a yelling Beckett, "Ryan, I swear if you don't get me my clothes I'm signing that transfer to traffic as soon as I get out of here."

"Take it easy Beckett. You're gonna give yourself a stroke." Kevin Ryan's been trapped in his boss' room for over an hour taking the brunt of her displeasure. He can't believe the woman who passed out a few hours ago is still arguing with him. Not that he should be surprised considering she's the most stubborn person he knows.

Castle cringes as Esposito lets the door close, "Did she really just threaten to send him to traffic?"

Esposito smiles proudly, "Yeah and I just made 20 bucks. Thank you Detective Beckett. You know, maybe you should go in. Ryan could probably use the help."

"Uh no. I think I'll observe a bit more." His mind is racing trying to put all of the pieces together to the latest Beckett puzzle. It's true she loves being in control but that doesn't explain why she'd be upset about staying in the hospital for one night. She's faced much worse in her life. "Okay, spill. What's so scary about hospitals?"

"Don't know." Esposito doesn't bother looking at Castle.

"Oooh, not your best bluff detective. You know a lot more about the lovely Kate Beckett than you pretend to which is why you're always winning these bets with Ryan."

"Leave it alone Castle." The man was right of course. Esposito knows exactly why Beckett doesn't want to stay. He's just not willing to share it with Castle.

Not satisfied, the writer decides to see Beckett for himself. Opening the door, he's greeted by her voice firm as ever, "Look Ryan, get that doctor back in here with my discharge papers or I'm going to have to tell McConnell that you hooked up with his sister. You remember what he said would happen after last time don't you?" Still hidden by the curtain surrounding her bed, Castle is reassured that his detective's still fighting.

"You know I can't. Captain made it clear I'm not supposed to let you out of my sight until he gets here." Ryan checks his watch again wondering when the Captain's going to get here. He's not sure how long he can keep it up with Beckett, plus, he's more than ready to start his weekend and plan his revenge against Esposito for Monday.

Realizing she's running out of time and options, Beckett tries a different approach, "Look Kevin. The Captain doesn't need to know. It can be our little secret. What do you say?"

Esposito clears his throat and Castle shuts the door just as Captain Montgomery walks up. The last thing Beckett needs is for the Captain to hear her trying to convince Ryan to disobey a direct order.

"Gentlemen. How's she doing in there?"