Summary: Beckett has a small problem. Luckily, Castle can help.
Notes: This story is set sometime after 3x01, A Deadly Affair.
Castle is always trying to make an entrance, so of course he rounds a corner a little too sharply and slams into a stand of medical supplies, sending a flurry of white packets skittering all over the floor.
"It's like Christmas in…" Ryan cocks his head, "September. Good one, Castle," he says, nodding at the mess of plastic-wrapped gauze.
"Where is she?" he wheezes dramatically.
"Christ, Castle, take a seat," Esposito says as he shoves a flimsy plastic chair at the author. "Who'd you talk to, anyway?"
"Montgomery. He said Beckett was at Bellevue. But the cell service, in the garage, and then the damn phone, and I just took long logical moment to ponder and Bellevue was only fifteen blocks so I thought, just run it."
"I feel like I'm listening to James Joyce," Ryan says, flinging himself into a chair next to Castle.
"Come on," says Castle, whining unhappily. He's pretty sure by now that Beckett's not in danger of dying, because Ryan and Esposito aren't spectacularly soaked in her blood or staring at him with serious stony eyes or crying softly in the corner, but damn it, he just sprinted fifteen blocks, four of them long ones, on a particularly hot September day, and there is a reason that Beckett is in the hospital.
"Asshole suspect in the Dewaters case trips over his own feet running from us. He's at the top of the stairs and Beckett's a step below him, you know, to cut him off, and they tumble all the way down together. I swear to you they've barely hit the bottom of the stairwell and Beckett's got him in cuffs. None of us knew she snapped her shinbone until she tried to stand and fell right back down."
Castle winces. "How is she?"
"She was pissed as hell. Now she's quite peaceful, thanks to the anesthesiologist," Esposito says. "Wish we could keep him around the precinct."
"Anesthesiologist?" Castle bites out.
"Relax, bro. Her bone was a mess, you should have seen it, looked like something out of Alien. The doctor refused to even try to set it without her being put under."
"But she's good now?"
Lanie steps around the corner. "As good as you can expect for a skinny thing like her getting bowled down the stairs by someone who's got a hundred fifty pounds on her. Bruised ribs, some other contusions, and she'll be sore as hell, but the leg's the only real damage, the docs say. They also say no being on her own for the next day or so, but I say she needs someone around until she gets off those damn crutches."
Ryan and Esposito look quickly between Castle and Lanie. "Well of course she'll stay with me," Castle huffs, regarding Lanie critically. "Do you even have an elevator in your building?"
"I'm sorry, Castle, are you judging me?" Lanie asks threateningly.
"No no no," he responds, shaking his head quickly. "It's just that you are an actual person with an actual job and actual responsibilities outside of your apartment and I am an overgrown child with almost nothing better to do than cater to Beckett's every whim."
"That's better," Lanie says. "But I think we all know why it's not a good idea."
Castle heaves a sigh. "I can't –" he begins, but uncharacteristically runs out of words. He tries again. "Any relationship that means I can't take care of Beckett when she needs it isn't a relationship I'm interested in being in."
Lanie rolls her eyes at him. "You're damn stupid, Castle."
"I – I have nothing to say to that."
"Fine. Fine. You can take care of her if she agrees, and I think that's long shot."
"You good to bring her home tonight?"
"I'm good to bring her home any –"
"Shut up, Castle, she's not even conscious to appreciate it."
"Right. Sorry, it's a reflex."
"I'll show you a reflex."
Thank God, Ryan's phone chooses that moment to start blaring. Half the people in the waiting room turn and stare reproachfully. "Way to go," Esposito hisses at Ryan, jerking his chin at the "No Cell Phones" sign. Ryan, after glancing briefly at the screen, cringes and trots out the revolving door.
"It's gonna be another fucking body," Esposito says, shaking his head slowly and looking briefly exhausted. "On a Friday at 6. I can smell it."
"It's gonna be another fucking body," Lanie agrees, nodding sadly.
"It's another body," Ryan says as he walks back into the waiting room. "Well, two bodies. In a bedroom. And one of them is the D.A.'s wife."
Esposito whistles. "And then we lived at the precinct for a week."
"Castle -" Lanie starts.
"I'll hold down the Beckett fort. Just text me a picture of the bodies. I can't sleep knowing there are dead people out there and I haven't even gotten to see them."
"Creepy, Castle, creepy," Ryan says as the three head towards the door.
"You take good care of our girl," Lanie says, glaring threateningly.
"I got her," Castle says, touching his fingers to his head in a flagging salute.