A/N Came up with this due to recent personal experience, and listening to my Castle playlist over and over again.
This fic contains spoilers for Season 3 - my take on some of the spoilers that have been released.
Beckett waved at the bartender, and a moment later another beer was in front of her.
She didn't often go to bars. She hadn't in the past few months. And there'd been a good reason for it.
In her own rarely-present romantic-fantasy-imaginative world, she thought that Castle would come back to the precinct, she'd tell him what she was going to before he left, and they'd be together. Or at least be aware of the feelings that were like electricity between them – keeping them going, but shocking them whenever something broke the circuit.
Her fantasy world came crashing down around her after Castle had come back. They made it through their first case, and she'd accepted him back on the team. Her anger towards him was reality – she supressed her desire to welcome him back straight away.
After their case, they sat at Beckett's desk, exhausted. Castle made a move to leave, and Beckett was just standing up to join him when he spoke.
"I'm late for dinner with Gina."
Beckett quickly sat down again, as if she'd just risen from her chair to straighten her jacket. "Gina?"
Castle explained exactly what Beckett didn't want to hear. Things had gone well over the summer. Despite Gina leaving after three weeks, she and Castle had remained in contact with each other, and had repaired a lot of broken bridges that resulted from their divorce.
Beckett looked Castle directly in the eyes as he told her this, and she saw it.
Love. He was in love with his ex-wife, and once again Beckett was on the sidelines. Which was mostly her own doing – going out with Demming, not telling Castle quickly enough that they'd broken up, not telling him how she felt…
After Castle left, Beckett grabbed her coat, caught the next elevator and headed to the closest bar that didn't have a reputation for violence. After all, as a cop, she'd be expected to deal with it – she wasn't in the mood tonight.
She sipped her beer, wondering if anyone would notice that she was drinking from the bottle. Everyone else there seemed to be talking to someone else, discussing various things that seemed to make them smile.
And there Beckett sat, on the edge of it all, alone. Drinking a beer.
"Hey," said a voice. A guy had leant against the bar next to him, looking fairly casual and at ease. Beckett gave him a quick once-over: dark hair, dark eyes. Loose red shirt and jeans.
"Hey," she replied. She tucked a stray hair behind her ear and smiled.
"Can I buy you a drink?"
"I don't even know your name," Beckett said, laughing slightly.
Here was a guy, who seemed to like her already, despite only knowing her for about 10 seconds. He was cute too – that was a bonus.
Castle was off with his wife. Ex-wife, Beckett corrected herself. Castle had moved on. She'd had an inkling that he'd liked her, back when she was with Demming. And now that she liked him, he was with Gina.
What the hell was wrong with them, that they couldn't be on the same damn page?
Beckett brought herself back to the present in time to hear her bar companion speak. "Josh. Josh Davidson," he said, holding out his hand.
She took it and shook slightly. He had a nice smile, she decided. Not as nice as- She cut off her thoughts. Castle was off limits. Out of bounds. He might as well still be in the Hamptons, he was so unavailable.
"Do you have a name?" Josh asked, now looking at her curiously.
Go for it, she told herself. It's time.
"Kate," she replied, shaking his hand again. "I'm Kate Beckett."