This is my first attempt at a Castle fic. I've always loved the show (i'd watch anything with Nathan in it!) But a certain irish Detective took my eye, and hey presto, here i am using him for my evil, twisted enjoyment!

Disclaimer: Not mine, probably never will be, but i can always hope.

All mistakes are mine, you can't have them.


Detective Javier Esposito leaned against the door frame as he surveyed his battered partner. The smell of antiseptic tickled against his nose, the bright lights of the ER cast shadows across his face as he frowned toward the injured man.

Detective Kevin Ryan sat stoically, appearing to all as one who was rolling with the punches and taking it all in his stride. He knew Javier was watching him.

He knew Javier could see through the mask.

He sucked in a breath as the Doctor wrapping his ribs pulled the dressing tight. His face betrayed his pain, his eyes squeezed closed as his skin glistened with sweat. He could feel well trained hands checking to make sure the wrapping was tight enough to give support, but not too tight to cause further damage to his two cracked ribs.

Kevlar. Great with bullets. Not so great with bones. Still, he'd take cracked ribs over a gun shot wound any day.

He risked a glance over to Javier, who took that as his cue to approach the bed his partner was perched on the edge of.

"Hey bro, how you feelin'?"

Kevin aimed for a reassuring smile, but landed somewhere in the grimace family.

"That bad hey?"

"Yeah, well, it could have been worse, Javi."

"So come on, how you really feelin'?" The older man asked, he stooped to try to catch his partner's eye to ensure he was getting the truth.

Kevin looked up and locked on. He smiled sadly as he said "Lucky."

"That you are Detective Ryan." The Doctor said as he signed the prescription for the pain meds Kevin was going to need. "You were very lucky, a shot that close can break the ribs, sometimes causing internal bleeding."

Kevin paled at the thought, Javier decided now was the time to take charge.

"So doc, is he free to go? And if so where do we need to sign?"

"Yes he's free to go. But you have to take it easy, Detective. Cracked ribs are no picnic. I'm prescribing pain meds and rest. If you over do it those ribs could go from cracked to broken and I know you wouldn't want that to happen." The doctor tapped his pen on his clipboard to emphasize his point.

Kevin nodded solemnly. Truth be known all he wanted to do was go home, stretch out on his comfy red couch and get lost in a bad movie. But that could all wait. Firstly he needed to finish the case. No way was he being sidelined this close to an arrest. Cracked ribs or not he was going back to the precinct.

He just had to convince Javier first.

Esposito stood to the side waiting patiently as Ryan signed the forms granting his leave from the hospital. His partner looked wiped out, slightly pale and each breath was taken carefully as he gauged the safest amount of air to intake before the pain kicked in.

Definitely going straight back to Kevin Ryan's apartment and chaining his friend to the couch if that's what it took to get the man off his feet.

Every few seconds Ryan sneaked a peek over his shoulder at his stern looking friend. This wasn't going to be easy. After signing the last form he gathered up his copies and turned toward the other Detective. Javier folded his arms across his chest. He could read his friend like a book, and the look in Ryan's eyes alerted Esposito to the impending conversation.

"So, you ready to go home, bro?" Javi asked as he walked side by side with the injured man.

"Yeah, sure. Just gotta pick up a couple of things at the precinct first."

"Yeah? Like what?"

"Oh you know, just some stuff."

"Kevin." Esposito stopped their forward progress with a hand on his friend's arm.

"I gotta finish out the case, man." Said Ryan as he turned to look at his partner. His eyes held firm as he tried to convey his determination and need with one intense look.

"You need to go home and rest is what ya gotta do."

"You wouldn't."

Detective Esposito sighed. Sure, he'd forced himself to finish a case while in a neck brace. But they were talking about Ryan here, not him. Although he wasn't sure how well that argument was going to help him. He let his head fall to his chest as he considered his options. Man handling the injured man into the car and forcing him into his apartment would no doubt take the cracked ribs to broken. There was no point trying to convince him to go voluntarily, the look in his eyes said as much. There was only really one option. But at least he could concede with a few ground rules for good measure.

"Ok." He said as he looked up, his heart warmed by the smile spreading across the other Detective's face. The first smile he'd seen since they'd entered the fourth floor walk up only to be greeted by two men with guns. "We go back to the precinct. You are to sit at your desk, not moving, unless I say you can."

Kevin Ryan nodded, he used his most sincere expression. He knew Javi was giving in only because he knew what it felt like to not finish out a case.

"You are to stop and take a break anytime the pain breaks through."

Again, Kevin nodded, a slight smile playing around his mouth.

"You are to ask either myself or Castle to go with you if you need to leave the room. I don't want to find you collapsed somewhere all alone."

Kevin frowned at the thought, but knew to keep his sarcasm at bay.

"You are to be driven home anytime I think you're hiding the pain or anytime you look like you're about to keel over from exhaustion. You got it?"

Kevin caught his grin before it escaped, he forced a smile and nodded solemnly. When he finally looked into Javier's eyes the smile made a second escape for freedom. Esposito was stood tall, his arms folded, brow knotted. Attempting to raise his height in order to glare down at the other man.

If Kevin didn't know him so well he might have been intimidated. He held off from an ill timed 'Yes Sir' and nodded again. Before Kevin could look back up, Javier allowed himself a grin. It wasn't that he loved bossing his injured partner about, ok, maybe a little it was, but mostly it was the fact his partner was allowing him to look after him. Kevin Ryan was easy going and amiable, but he hid his feelings well and only let show what he felt safe showing. Injuries and illnesses had to be sought out. Javier had learned that early on in their partnership and had made it his job to see the signs, even before Kevin himself knew there were any.


Go on, hit that little review button and let me know what you think? It'll help the wait for 'Knockdown' be less painful.