Disclaimer: The characters, storylines and references (including some chapter titles) herein are not mine. This story is meant solely for entertainment purposes. No infringement is intended.

A/N: Yeah, it's me again. I know you're probably all sick of me by now, but I promised a dear friend "fix it" fic, and have spent the last three (agonizing) weeks trying to do just that. To be honest, I don't think it's as strong as "The Way We Fall," but…consider this my apology for "Walking Wounded" and let's call it even.

Thank you a million times over to Alamo Girl and Missy Meggins, for being amazing cheerleaders, fearless wielders of the red pen, and all around fantastic friends. This piece would not be halfway good (or posted, for that matter), if not for you.

One last note: 'in medias res' is a literary device used to begin the story in the middle, and then go backwards. Kind of like "The Hangover."

Prologue: Tell Me Now (What You See)

She watched from afar, safely behind the barricades of glass and a past that needn't be repeated.

Moonbeams, hazy from exhaustion and the last humid night before Labor Day, spotlighted the perfection of them together, side by side. The sea was calm, the wind quiet-all in reverence for the pair, who after being separated for so long, had finally made their way to each other. Through arduously winding roads of self-doubt, over once broken bridges and across the canyon of his history and her insecurities, now they sat at the ocean's edge, where the water caressed their toes, welcoming their newest visitor and gently asking why it took so long for her to come.

The symbolism wasn't lost on the one who watched. It was a cleansing ritual, voiding any imprint the long summer separation may have burned onto their skin, or the damage distance may have caused.

They were flawed perfection from the word "go." Tormented warriors trying to find each other through the low hanging blackness of disappointment and disillusionment, not sure where they were going, but running as fast as they could, determined to end up in the same place at the same time.

It had been easier said than done, but now, as the voyeur turned off the kitchen light and rolled her suitcase to the door, she realized she never should have doubted that this was the only ending that made any kind of sense.

Simply put, the woman outside - and finally at his side - was the piece of the puzzle that had been missing. She fit, her strengths matched perfectly to his worn, tattered edges where needed.

The blonde inside smiled, though she knew they couldn't see through the navy night and blindingly white happiness of a conversation long overdue. With a nod of her head and certainty in her heart, she dropped her keys to the home into the brunette detective's bag, and Richard Castle himself in her capable heart and hands.