I haven't written in quite some time but Countdown couldn't really trigger anything else but the need to write ;) I hope you enjoy this little piece of mine (which is probably a little ooc) =)
Rean, enjoy and pleeeaaase review!
Disclaimer: I obviously own Castle. As much as I own the world. ;)
Rick was staring at his blank computer screen. He wasn't sure how long he'd been doing so but he was pretty much aware of his rumbling stomach. Though, he couldn't care less. In his mind the last 48 hours kept replaying without an end. Three darn times he and Kate had been eye to eye with death, four times one of them was on the verge of doing something, taking action, making a move.
First, they though they'd die from radioactive Cobalt and Kate started pouring out her heart. Josh didn't seem to be what she wanted, what she needed. She said she wanted someone who'd be there, with whom she could dive in a relationship together. Josh clearly didn't live up to her expectations. Just when Castle was about to tell her he'd always be there, having her back, diving with her into anything as long as she was by his side that darn guy from security ruined the moment.
After being kick out of the precinct they somehow managed to get locked in a giant freezer and this time it was Kate who almost made the move but fate got the best of her and she fell unconscious before she could finish the sentence she was trying to get out. "Castle… I just wanted you to know how much I…"
It kept replaying in his head over and over again. Her ice cold fingers touching his chin, her sleepy voice, her suddenly limp body against his… He has never been so scared in his entire life. For a moment he was sure he lost her and he couldn't really remember what happened next, though he probably lost consciousness as well.
The third and last time they had been facing death was when they were staring at the bomb, knowing that nothing other than an explosion was coming. 10 Seconds left, Kate said his name in a somewhat desperate voice, her face giving away a flood of emotions and she'd taken his hand. He looked at her, looked at the bomb and back at her. He knew they had a chance they couldn't waste it… But there was pretty much nothing they could do. He figured that he wanted the last moment of their life being great… Kissing her one last time, for real, would have been a way to go but then something struck him. One hand tightly holding hers he grabbed the wires and pulled. Nothing happened, apart from Kate squealing, laughing in relief and practically jumping into his arms. They'd been incredibly lucky… the third time in two days!
The fourth and last time (so far- he kept reminding himself) was shortly after Fallon had asked them to step outside their little precinct-party. This time, he was about to tell her he'd dive into anything with her and just when he opened his mouth he saw motorcycle boy coming towards them. Kate hadn't seen him yet neither did she feel his presence so Rick told her he'd be off for the day and let her standing there, a horribly confused look on her face. God… he couldn't remember feeling that heartbroken ever before. He was so close, they were so close and that stupid doctor had to ruin it again.
Sometimes he was wondering if fate was just playing cruel games with both of them.
Right when he knew the elevator doors were closed he lost his control. He knew he shouldn't cry but it was all too much. Three near-death-experience and being fooled by fate led to a horrible feeling of being completely heartbroken and left out and it was too much to take.
He knew he'd be coming home to an empty loft, Martha and Alexis still being in the Hamptons, he knew he'd probably sit in his study for endless hours and that he'd be hurting.
And that was where he was now, in his study, hungry, lost, lonely and hurting.
Did she really think motorcycle boy had a chance? Did she really think he could be her one-and-done? "…it means we have a chance". Did she really want that chance? What was about him? Them? After all they'd been through he was so sure they could wage the next step. How could he be so wrong?
He couldn't resist any longer and let his feelings take over. He felt tears running down his cheeks, dropping onto the keys in quite a rapid frequency. Lovesick. It was the only word he could think of that sort of described his current condition.
Again his stomach rumbled. He knew he should eat something, maybe drink a tea or some coffee but the thought of food made him sick, as did the though of coffee because it reminded him of her. Well, and he detested tea- so no way he was going to drink that stuff.
Thinking of her didn't really help. Her smile, holding her hand, her icy fingers, her laugh, her nearly broken voice… It made him sick. A small sob escaped his mouth and he wiped away some tears, just so that they could be replaced by new ones a few seconds later.
He loved her. And loving her hurt more than the cold he had felt. The strength of the feeling was scarier than the bomb they had been facing. And it seemed less possible to get rid of than radioactive poison. But he loved her.
He was so lost in his thoughts that he didn't hear the keys and the door falling shut. He was occupied with chewing his lower lip violently, letting out a small sob here and there and wiping away a no stopping stream of tears.
Alexis rushed into her dad's study, guessing he'd be sitting in his comfortably chair, reading something or just thinking. She had though that it was a little weird that he was already home because after receiving his text about three hour earlier, saying it was safe to return home and that he'd be hanging out at the precinct for a while, finding his shoes and his coat thrown over the couch seemed a little odd.
Her smile instantly vanished form her face when she saw him. Eyes pressed close, tears glittering on his cheeks and one hand supporting his head he made a heart-wrenching picture.
Carefully she approached him and placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Dad what's wrong?" she whispered.
The only answer she got was a tiny sob. She was pretty sure she'd never seen her father cry like this. Something really awful must have happened.
"Dad… what happened?" She tried again. Then it struck her…
"Dad, is Beckett alright?" she asked worriedly.
Her name seemed to make him snap out of his own little world. He looked at her, his eyes framed by red. He nodded, the action followed by another sob.
Alexis hugged her father tightly, not sure if it was doing any good. She cast a worried and somewhat helpless glance at her grandmother who was watching the scene with a mixture of shock and sadness on her face and she shrugged helplessly. She'd never seen her son so broken.
Rick hugged his daughter back and tried to smile at her. He failed miserably.
"Dad can I get you something to eat?" Alexis asked. He shook his head. "Not even ice cream?" she tried. He failed again at smiling, shaking his head again.
"Thank you sweetie. But there's nothing you can do at the moment." He took in a shaky breath, adding "apart from making her change her mind" in his thoughts. His daughter nodded.
"I'll cook something anyway okay? And I'll tell you when I'm done" she said, giving him a peck on his wet cheek.
"'kay" he mumbled and watched his daughter and his mother leave.
A heavy sighed escaped his lips and he wiped away fresh tears. For a moment he had felt better but the first Nikki Heat book catching his eye brought everything back and again his eyes were burning with tears threating to fall.
Alexis was stirring a sauce, deep in thought. Martha and she had been trying to work out what was bothering Rick enough to make him suffer like this.
"Grams, you think we should call Detective Beckett? She might know what's wrong with him. Maybe… maybe all this was a little too much" she guessed. Sure, her dad hadn't told her everything that happened but she certainly knew about the three meetings with death he escaped only barely. Also did she know that Beckett was with him all three times. Maybe calling her really wasn't such a bad idea.
After Martha nodded and agreed to look after the sauce Alexis got her phone out and searched for the Detective's number. Soon enough she found it and taking a shaky breath she pressed dial.
Kate sighted when she heard her phone ringing. If this wasn't important she was going to kill whoever… just when she was about to finish the thought she found her mobile, seeing that Alexis was calling. An uneasy feeling began spreading through her stomach.
"Hey Alexis" she answered the phone, a little too cheerful.
"Erm… hi Detective" the teen answered, sounding a little shy. "I sort of need you help… you got a moment?" she continued hesitantly.
"Sure, Alexis. Is everything okay?" Kate was beginning to get a little worried.
"It's my father" the younger woman breathed into the phone and Kate could clearly hear her desperation.
"What's wrong with him?" she asked, a weird and unknown kind of fear spreading through her body.
"I don't know… He's… I think he's been crying for hours now. I don't know what do to. Can you… Can you come over?"
Kate felt sick. Something really bad must be bothering him. He'd never let his daughter see him cry if he could help it.
There was a silence on the other end of the phone and for a moment Alexis wondered if she had gone to far.
"Detective… I'm sorry, you don't have to come over… I just…"
Kate wondered if she heard Alexis loosing her nerves.
"It's alright Alexis, really… I'll be over in twenty minutes, okay?"
She could her Alexis breathing heavily.
Kate smiled, despite being worried about Castle. His promise to be always there was haunting her. The memory of his arms around her, holding her close, kept her from going home with Josh that night. She had explained she needed some time to herself, a warm bath, time to think, let todays events sink in…
She grabbed her coat, took her keys and made her way towards the Castle's home.
Alexis smiled slightly when she heard the soft knock at the door. Soon, a slightly nervous looking Detective made her way into the room, giving Alexis a heartfelt but awkward hug.
"I'm glad you came" the teen said and Kate smiled at her.
"When you called I got really worried… what can I do for you?"
Alexis looked at the older woman. She was incredibly glad she could rely on her, even though they hadn't spent as much time together as she'd like to. Somehow, she had a feeling that she and the detective could be pretty close if they really did spent more time together. She should probably talk about that to her father when he was back to normal.
Kate watched the teen gulp.
"Well… Dad has been sitting in his study and he keeps crying. I don't know what to do, I really don't. I feel so sorry for him, he seems so… heartbroken and he said there's nothing I could do for him" everything came bubbling out of her mouth before she could really think about it. She saw how something in the detective's face changed from worried to … was it really guilty?
"Don't worry, Alexis… I'll… Let's see if it helps him talking to me" she tried to sooth the teenager.
The girl nodded, mouthing "thank you" at her.
Both knew that Kate knew where the study was so she quickly made her way towards the door.
Castle heard a soft knock on the door and he tried, once again, to stop the tears from falling. Long ago he had stopped wiping his face clean because the tears just kept coming. He hurt. So badly.
Kate slowly opened the door, the picture she was seeing breaking her heart. Castle was sitting at his desk, tears shining on his face and he looked lost, hurt, small. Totally un-Castle. Seeing him so broken made her hold her breath. Who ever made her great friend and partner suffer like that should really… be punished she thought. Somewhere in the back of her mind it occurred to her that she might be the one who was guilty of his current misery but she tried to ignore the feeling, it really wasn't helping.
"Hey" she said, unsure of how to handle the situation.
He looked up, his cheeks turning into a faint red colour. "Hey yourself" he answered with a hoarse voice. She sees him gulp. It makes her nervous. And scared. And she feels the need to help him.
"Are you okay?" She inwardly scolded herself. Seriously Kate? He was obviously NOT okay. He's been crying for fucks sake!
He tried to nod but stops when he looks into her eyes. She's worried. He can see that. Seeing him like this is probably killing her. It's all over her face.
"Not really, I guess" he whispered, trying to control his voice.
"Castle… Rick… what is it?" she said, turning her voice into a whisper as well. Rick … it felt strange, calling him Rick. Somewhat foreign. But also good. She approached him slowly, trying to tell her self that she had nothing to do with his current condition.
He inhaled deeply, the stream of tears had, thankfully, stopped.
"Don't you see it?" he simply asked. He had expected a confused grimace but he got none. She knew. Her eyes flickered nervously. She had to know. Was she going to play it cool?
Kate felt her heart beginning to race. She was almost afraid that he might hear it.
"See what exactly?" she finally asked.
"Us" he simply stated.
Her mouth fell open and he couldn't decide if she looked surprised or shocked. Maybe both. He took another deep breath and continued speaking.
"Kate… three times facing death made me realise something. Life is too short to let various opportunities at a happy life slip by ever other day. I can't keep doing this, it kills me" now that he started talking he felt better. It helped.
She looked at him. Of course she knew what he was talking about. She made exactly the same experience. And it did certainly make her wonder about… things.
"What were you going to say at the precinct… before … you know…" she suddenly asked. The words were out before she could really think about them. But what did it matter? She couldn't take them back now.
Her voice was shaky, suddenly she seemed shy. Rick avoided her eyes when he returned to talking. Finally… finally he was going to tell her.
"Kate, you said you want someone who is there for you. You know I'll always have your back, no matter if you want me to or not. I'll always be there for you, just as I promised in the freezer. What were you going to say, Kate, before you blacked out? "
Clearly, he wasn't expecting an answer because when she was about to say something he interrupted her.
"Then the bomb. I… god… Kate. I didn't see my life flash before my eyes. I saw what I was never going to have. What we were never going to have" he finished silently.
He heard a tiny gulp coming from his side and felt her hand on his shoulder.
"Back at the precinct… I wanted to tell you that. I wanted to ask you to give us a chance. Kate, I know you feel it too. You… " he was at a loss for words. So desperate. Fresh tears were forming in his eyes. Despite getting it all out he still felt bad, no sad. What if she… rejected him?
"I was going to tell you how much I like you" she stated. "How much I like having you around". She sighted. "How much I like knowing you are there"
He felt the tears new tears making their way onto the keys of his laptop.
"Kate, I know this is probably not the moment but…"
"Rick" she interrupted. "Three times facing death and you tell your self this is not the moment?"
A tiny laugh escaped his lips. "You're right"
"'kay… So I guess I'll have my go then, right?" she asked. Her heart was pounding like mad.
"I … oh for heaves sake, Castle. You mean a lot to me. Way too much, considering I'm supposed to be in a relationship" she cursed.
And the angry frown on her forehead and the suppressed smile on her lips made him feel light headed. There was still hope. There had to be!
"What about Josh?" he asked softly.
"I don't know. This is such a mess… I don't even know what I should be feeling at the moment", she murmured.
"But… you feel something, right? You know what you want to feel."
The latter was a statement. He knew he sounded hopeful. She nodded.
"What is it?" he asked. He needed to know. Turning around a little he saw how she closed her eyes.
"I know you are here with me. I… need you around. I feel like I can't be happy without you. You sort of… " she hesitated "make me complete". Now she looked a tinge surprised at her own words. Did she really just say that?
The smile on Rick's face confirmed it. Yeah. She just declared that Richard Castle made her complete.
For a second he was sure he was going to die. Did the woman in front of him just…
Oh my God… we have a chance!
He felt like he was going to burst into a million tiny pieces.
Slowly he got up, pulling her with him. Now that they were standing face to face, well almost, she was, after all, smaller than him, everything happened in an instant. They wrapped each other in a bear-hug and smiled into the other's hair or… in her case, into his shoulder. A good beginning. A really good one, he thought.
When she pulled away and she frowned at him he felt a bang of fear in his jest. This couldn't be good. It was too… easy.
"I'm still with… "
Oh holy shit. How could he forget about that. He was about to say something when a smile came to her lips and she shrugged.
"Oh… never mind. I'll deal with it tomorrow" and she buried her face in his chest, again, and he could practically feel her smiling.
Pulling her just a little closer he leaned down to her and whispered something into her ear that made her giggle.
"You know… if it was one of my books we could easily get rid of him…"
The End :)