A/N I had the idea for this after watching Waitress, and I wanted to have a go at writing a Castle fic.
This is for Sam and Emma, who are there for me when I need them to be (and when I don't :] )
I must ask - what do you guys call the Castle/Beckett relationship? I've always called them 'Caskett', but I've been told I'm wrong.
Kate kicked the punching bag as hard as she could, trying to empty out her frustration and anger through her exercise.
She'd had a bad day.
It was nine o'clock at night, pitch black all around. She walked to the front door, only to be met by the crying parents, Phillip and Diane. "Did you find her? Did you find Ava?"
"We found her," Kate said slowly. She watched the expression on Diane's face fall.
"Is she…alive?" Phillip asked.
Kate shook her head slowly, disappointment glistening in her eyes along with tears. She didn't dare let them fall though. "I'm so sorry-" she began, but she was cut off.
"You promised us. You promised us you'd bring our baby girl home. You promised she'd be okay and that she'd be safe. You promised!" Diane cried, before crumbling to her knees. Phillip glared at Kate before holding his wife in his arms.
Kate turned around to see Ryan and Esposito watching her apologetically. She walked past them, determined not to look anyone in the eye. She felt Castle watching her carefully, like he'd done throughout the entire case.
A girl, two years old, was kidnapped by a serial killer. They'd caught the guy in his own apartment, shooting him before he shot them, and then found Ava on the bed in the other room, having died just before they'd arrived from strangulation. Kate had held her for a moment, feeling that the body was still warm, before fully accepting that she'd failed Ava, the parents, and herself.
She hit the bag again, thinking momentarily that she should have put some glove on, as blood was starting to trickle over her hands from the grazes on her knuckles.
She was angry. She knew, overall, that it wasn't her fault, but it still played on her mind that she wasn't fast enough. All the time spent making coffee, teasing Castle, getting Chinese food, could have been spent finding the murderer. It was irrational, her thinking, but it went with the job. Child deaths really affected her, she couldn't help it.
She lay down on the floor, exhausted. Crying and punching weren't making her feel any better.
The doorbell rang, as if to awaken her from her mind. She picked herself up off the floor and headed to the door.
"Castle?...what're you doing here?"
"Just came to make sure you were okay," he replied. He could see that she was surprised to see him. "May I come in?"
"Yeah, sure," she said quietly, aware of the sweat and blood smears on her face. Gloves, Beckett, she thought. Next time, wear the gloves. "Coffee?" she offered, putting distance between Castle and herself.
"Kate," he said strongly. "Stop." She froze, still not facing him.
"What?" she replied, but it was too late – two fat, shiny tears became free and made their way down her cheeks.
"Oh, Beckett. Hey," Castle said as soon as he saw her face as he walked to her. "Hey, it's okay," he whispered, taking her slowly into his arms, letting her face rest on his chest. He held her as two great, shuddering sobs emerged, and stroked her back to ease her breathing.
He stood there with her for twenty minutes. That was it. He didn't pull away. He didn't look at her face. He didn't try to kiss her or take advantage. All he did was wrap her up in his arms and held on tight, without an ounce of selfishness to it. Kate breathed slowly, appreciating having a solid, warm person to be there with her.
She pulled away, smiling weakly. "I'm okay," she said meekly.
Castle smiled back. "Good."
"Coffee?" she offered again.