Javier Esposito's patience was just about tapped out. He'd called looking for his boss, but Rick Castle had answered in her place. And the detective had hardly had a chance to get a word in before the conversation started resembling nothing if not a kamikaze fighter pilot in full suicide mode.
"Castle, he's not moving. He loves this place."
"Esposito, he's in danger if he stays there. Tyson knows where he lives."
Javier rolled his eyes. "Look, we'll keep an eye on things." Esposito was getting irritated…hadn't Castle caused enough trouble in the last twenty-four hours? "Ryan and me, we'll bulk up the security. It's a secure building, anyway. And I'm not lettin' 'im outta my sight for a while."
"This guy's tricky. Sneaky. And he's a killer. I think he should think about finding another place."
"Castle!" Esposito said loudly. He winced as he looked down the hall, hoping that he hadn't woken his healing partner. "You're over-reacting. We can't move our residence every time a perp finds out where we live. And besides. . .have you seen Ryan's place? He's got a sweet thing goin' here. I ain't gonna be the one to tell him he has to move."
"Huh?" Javier heard as he turned to the sound of the quiet, scratchy-yet-familiar voice. A decidedly rumpled Kevin Ryan looked at him quizzically from the hallway. Esposito looked to his partner, placed his hand over the phone's mouthpiece, whispered 'Castle' and shook his head as an indication to ignore what he just said. Kevin walked to his best friend and took the phone from him. Or attempted to; Javier fought him for ownership of the phone, and lost to a very determined Ryan.
"'m not movin'," he said, just barely awake. "'Sides, 'm not listen'n' t'you right now." Kevin looked to his partner, blinked a couple of times, smiled as his partner smiled back at him, and decided that was all he wanted to say, and then handed the phone back to his best friend. He walked to the red couch and lay down his clearly still aching head on Javier's pillow.
"Got that?" Esposito asked sharply as he spoke into the returned phone. "Oh. Sorry, Beckett. I was just…"
"I overheard. I'll talk to Castle. How's Ryan?" Detective Kate Beckett asked.
"I need to check. He slept pretty soundly this last couple of hours. He was up every couple of hours like clockwork upchucking."
"'m fine," came a plaintive call from the couch.
"He says he's fine. We'll probably be in this afternoon. He didn't get good sleep last night, so I'm gonna make him sleep some more," Esposito said.
"We need his statement. And then we need to talk about Tyson," Kate noted.
"Yeah, but you know he's gone under, for now."
"I know. But we still have to check every angle before we make that official on this case."
"Okay. We'll be in later." The detectives hung up.
"'m not gonna move. What the hell's wrong with Castle, anyway?" Ryan grumbled from his prone position on the couch. His feet were on the floor as the rest of his body was leaned over the nice, comfy pillow. Esposito reached around his best friend's legs and pulled them up onto the couch. He placed the throw over his friend.
"Get some more sleep." Esposito reached for the other throw in the room, the one his grandmom made. He placed that over his friend as well; Ryan had looked a little cold. "You'll forget that you were mad at him by the time you see him again." The one thing Kevin Ryan was, more than anyone else that Javier Esposito knew, was forgiving.
"No I won't."
"Yes you will."
"Whatever," Kevin grouched, too tired to argue. He yawned and then asked, "Don't we have to get to the precinct?"
"It's early. We'll go in this afternoon."
"D'you sleep?" Kevin asked, followed by a rhetorical, "How could you? You were up ev'ry time I was up. Bro, I am so sorry about that."
Ryan waved his hand toward the hallway, toward the bathroom. "You cleaned up after me, dragged me back t'bed."
Esposito stepped over to the coffee table and sat down in front of his friend. "What did ya think I would do, leave you lying on the floor next to the toilet?"
"Woulda been easier," Kevin noted softly. He moaned quietly and rubbed the palm of his hand on his forehead.
"I wouldn't do that." Javier looked closely at his partner. "You're still pretty pale, even for a pasty-faced white boy. How're you feelin'?"
"Head," Ryan started. He hissed and then added, "Hurts."
"Hold tight," Esposito said as he headed to the kitchen. He came back with a glass of water and two pills. He rubbed his best friend's arm to get him to open his eyes.
"Wha's this?" Kevin asked as he sat up and accepted the glass. He looked at the pills but was unable to focus enough to tell what he'd been given.
"Just extra strength Tylenol. Can't have anything stronger."
"I know," Ryan agreed. He took the two pills and guzzled the water, and then handed the glass back. "Thanks."
"Lay back down. You have several hours before you have to get up. Get some more sleep."
Javier started to turn, but Kevin grabbed his wrist. "What about you?"
"Me? I'll be right back." Esposito took the glass back and placed it in the dishwasher. He returned to the sofa, grabbed the pillow from the chair and used the other end of the couch to lie down.
"Good," Kevin slurred.
"You know, we couldn't do this if I didn't have this thing cleaned," Javier noted.
"I'm just sayin'. . ."
"Thanks," Kevin murmured.
"I don't get how you can have a nice place and put this thing in it."
"Big, comfy. . ."
"It was disgusting," Esposito tried to point out.
"Comfy," Kevin insisted. "Want yer pillow?" he asked.
Javier snorted. "No. Go to sleep." He punched the small decorative pillow he was using for his head and then laid his head down on it.
"I c'n get my pillow," Kevin offered as he slowly forced himself into a sitting position.
"I will shoot you if you get up. Lay down. I'll get your pillow."
Javier snorted again. He leaned down and placed his hand on Kevin's forehead and then rubbed his hand lightly over the tousled hair. "I always have good ideas, bro."
He got a smile and a slight nod of the head from the nearly dozing man on the red couch. A muffled, "Mm-hmm," morphed into a light snore. Javier smiled as he headed for Ryan's pillow. Their special bond, their familiarity with each other – familiar enough to use one another's pillows – it could easily have been lost in an instant the previous day. Esposito smiled as he grabbed the pillow from the bed. Kevin would be fine, and they would move on. And they would be wary of crazy serial killers who had their number. Because it's what they did.