disclaimer: They're not mine – I'm just torturing them for a bit ;)

I'm so cold. Why is it so cold in here? Why can't I get warm?
Kate Becket wrapped her arms tightly around and hunched down in her seat, trying to get warm, but she was still shivering fiercely.

"Are you okay?" a voice whispered from behind her.

"I'm fine," she ground out through her chattering teeth, "I ju–just c–can't seem to get warm," she turned to Castle, sitting in his usual chair, who was watching her with concern.

His expression turned to shock when she faced him. Her lips were blue from the cold and she was shaking uncontrollably as her body tried to warm her up. "No. You are most definitely not fine. You need to go home" he stated as though speaking to a child. He knew she would argue, but he had already decided that he was hearing none of it – she just didn't know it yet.

"I'm fine, Castle" she insisted, making a conscious effort to stop her teeth from chattering, as though that would convince him that she was, in fact, just fine. Hearing nothing from him, she turned back to face her computer, trying to focus on the paper work that needed to be completed, as though, if she focused hard enough, her body would also come to the realisation that she was, indeed, healthy.

Suddenly, she felt a heavy weight around her shoulders, her mouth opening in shock when she realized that Castle had not only gotten up from his chair, but that he had removed his jacket and draped it over her shoulders.

"Thanks, Castle..." she whispered, thinking she had won this battle and that he would let her stay at the precinct. Despite the heavy jacket that now sat on her shoulders, Becket found that she still didn't feel any warmer. She couldn't feel her hands or feet anymore, and her head was starting to feel like it was filled with ice. She couldn't think straight. Something wasn't right. Why is the world spinning like that? she mused to herself. It was almost amusing, suddenly, and she let out a small giggle.


She tried to answer that she was fine, again, but she couldn't seem to figure out which Castle was the one she was supposed to answer. This too, suddenly seemed funny and she giggled again, this time, swaying dangerously in her seat.

"That's enough, my dear Detective. I am taking you home and that's final," Castle finally put his foot down and stood to help her up from her desk, but had to support her a great deal to prevent her from falling down. Somewhere inside her fogged mind, Beckett was horrified at the scene they created as they stumbled out of the precinct to her car – where Castle helped her into the passenger seat before coming around to the driver's side and pulling out of the parking garage.

Her embarrassment, however, took a back seat to her own exhaustion and illness, and before they had even driven a block, she was sound asleep, though still shivering. She didn't wake again until she felt a hand in her coat pockets.

"Kate, I need your apartment keys," he said softly when he felt her body stiffen in his arms. Rather than jump out of his arms and insist that she was fine, as he had expected, she simply pointed to the top of the door frame, where she kept her spare key before relaxing and going back to sleep against the warmth of his chest, her shivers lessening for the first time since she started feeling ill that morning.

The fact that she hadn't fought him since they had left the precinct was beginning to seriously worry Castle. Kate Beckett did not let anyone do anything for her if she could do it herself. That she had let him take care of her in such a dramatic way spoke to how sick she might actually be. For the first time, he began to consider taking her to the hospital. As if sensing his intentions, the woman in question opened her eyes, looked him straight in the eyes, fevered green meeting anxious blue. Something in her look made him reconsider, though she never uttered a word. He knew she hated hospitals and decided that unless she got substantially worse, he would stay and watch over her and hope that she got better on her own.

Slowly he made his was up to her bedroom, where he carefully placed her on her bed. The sudden movement and the lack of warmth from his body jolted Beckett back to full alert as she struggled to free herself from his arms.

"Hey, shhhhhh," he spoke calmly brushing her hair back from her face until she met his eyes and regained her bearings.

"Castle?" she asked, somewhat slurred, somewhat weezed, as though she couldn't quite draw a full breath.

"Kate," he whispered, stroking her sweaty hair off of her forehead, "we need to get you changed and you need to rest."

Beckett nodded mutely, like a small child, doing as she was told. Feeling like he was intruding but knowing that she couldn't rest in her street clothes, he went to her chest of drawers and pulled out an oversized t-shirt that would easily cover her to her knees. Bringing the change of clothes back to the bed, he saw Beckett still sitting there, teetering slightly. After removing her gun and badge and placing them in the top drawer of her dress, so she can't shoot me, he thought ruefully. He helped her to unbutton her blouse and slipped the t-shirt over her head. Once it was on, he unclasped her bra from the back, and then helped her to put her arms through the holes. Though it didn't seem like much, all the effort seemed to be exhausting for the detective, who was again shaking like a leaf.

"Kate," he began softly, feeling bad for what he had to do next, knowing that she could hardly sit, let alone stand, but sighed, "you're going to have to stand up so that we can take your pants off."

"Still trying to get into my pants, Castle?" she weezed, trying to stand.

"Always, my dear Detective," he smiled slightly, glad to see that she still held on to her sense of humour. His smile immediately dropped from his face when she tried to stand and her legs gave out. Castle barely caught her before she hit the floor. With her leaning heavily on him, he managed to unzip her pants and slide them down her ridiculously long legs from under the t-shirt. That done, he pulled the blankets back with his free hand and gently laid her down, pulling the blankets back up to her chin.

"Thank you," she whispered quietly, before sleep overcame her.

"You're my best friend," he answered the sleeping form in front of him, "and I love you, but you already know that."

With Beckett asleep, Castle began to pick up the bits and pieces of her clothes and threw them in the laundry basket, thinking how much more he would have enjoyed such an action under entirely different circumstances. Not that she would ever let me, he though with a grimace.

That done, he went to the kitchen to fill a bowl with cool water, and picked up a small cloth from the linen closet. He needed to get her fever under control. By the time he returned to her bedroom, she was awake again, and muttering something under her breath.

"So, so warm...too warm, I'm too hot," she muttered again and again, trying to throw the heavy quilts off her fevered body.

Castle sat down next to her on the bed and forced her to lie back down, though she struggled a little at first, muttering about a sea of fire. Once she was lying, he pressed the cold cloth to her forehead, then ran it over the rest of her face, neck, and the exposed part of her chest She seemed to calm down a little, and her eyes fluttered closed again. He continued to try and keep her cool for the next hour or so, stopping when her breathing began to even out, and she seemed at last to be in a real sleep.
Exhausted himself, he stretched out at the foot of her bed and fell asleep.

It was dark outside when Castle woke up again. He wondered at what had woken him up, but soon realized that the bed was shaking. He sat up quickly when he realized that it was Beckett's shivering that was shaking the bed, that, and she seemed to be crying quietly.

"Kate?" he started, his voice brimming with concern, "What is it Kate? Why are you crying?"

"Because," she answered quietly, shaking, "because I'm hot, and I'm cold and I hurt and it won't stop, and, and, and..." she trailed off, shaking her head back and forth against the pillow, as though trying to shake something off.

"Where does it hurt, Kate?" he asked her, taking her face between his hands, afraid that she might hurt herself more.

"Everywhere...nowhere...I don't know, I don't know, make it stop, please make it stop," she begged, more sobs wracking her already distressed body.

Castle didn't know what to do. She was clearly getting worse, and he once again considered bringing her to the hospital. Remember once when Alexis had been sick with the flu, he gathered the frail shaking body into his arms, rocking back in forth, trying to sooth and comfort the detective. She responded by wrapping her arms tightly around his waist and let herself be rocked back to sleep like a small child. Soon, the shaking lessened, and the sobs quieted, and Castle was quite sure that she had fallen asleep again. He tried to lie her back down, but discovered that her grip around his waist was not one to be reckoned with. Conceding defeat, he laid down with her, and pulled the blankets over both their forms. If she's not better in the morning, I'll bring her to the hospital, he promised himself before falling asleep again with her in his arms.

Please review, it makes it worth writing if you actually know that people are reading it.

Now don't we all wish we had someone like that to take care of us when we're sick? I know I do...::sighs::