So, this came to me while I was on tumblr. I don't know why, it just popped in my head, and any writer knows that you can only get rid of an idea is to write it down. So... *shrugs*

And yes, I know that this idea is overused. Oh well. :P

This is for Katherine (fuckyeahcastleperry on tumbr -you should follow her by the way, she's quality), because I said I would.

I'm also listening to "Into The Blue" by Sara Jackson, and it reminds me SO much of "A Deadly Game" So I feel kind of sad right now... :/

Oh well, I'll stop jabbering on.


Care. Much more than a four letter word.

"Castle?" called Beckett, waving her hand in front of his face.

"Oh, sorry, Beckett." He blinked.

They had just wrapped up a fairly easy case, which meant only one thing - paperwork. Ryan was in the back, processing the charges, and Beckett was stuck with the annoying task of writing everything up. That left Castle with nothing to do but play on his phone and daydream.

"What were you thinking about?" asked Beckett curiously.

"I was thinking about the first time we met." Castle looked up at Beckett.

"The Tisdale case, right? I remember that."

"No, before that. You came my first book signings" Castle corrected, getting a distant look in his eyes. " 'In A Hail Of Bullets'. Not many people came, twenty, maybe thirty people. I saw you instantly. You were beautiful, happy, carefree. You had shoulder-length hair and gorgeous eyes. When you reached the table, I could see the laughter in you eyes, I could hear the warmth in your voice. Instead of just signing my name, I wrote-"

" 'Smile, so the whole world will see.' " Beckett gasped. "I always wondered why you wrote that!"

"At my next book signing, I looked for you amid the throngs of people. As the end of the night drew closer and closer, I was sure that you wouldn't show up. Just as I was leaving, I saw you. I smiled, and you came over. Alexis was sleeping in my arms You said that you were sorry, you didn't realize that I was leaving. You turned and walked away before I could say anything.

"After that, I looked at for you at every signing. You came to each one, and then suddenly, I stopped seeing you. Two or three signings later, when I had given up hope, I noticed you. And not because I was looking for you, but because you were so sad and weren't the carefree young girl with gorgeous eyes that made me smile every time I saw her. Your eyes were sad, haunted. Your shoulders slumped, and when you smiled, it was forced, and didn't reach your eyes. I wanted to ask what the matter was, but I also wanted to reach out, hold you, tell you everything would be okay. Instead, in your book, I wrote 'Every story has an ending, but every ending is a new beginning.'

"I didn't know what happened to you, but I wanted to make it better. There was nothing I could do but watch you at every book signing you came to. You were strong, you tried to hide your pain. I saw it, though."

Castle stopped talking, for he had gotten lost in story, and he didn't notice the tear roll down Beckett's cheek. He reached over and took her hand, expecting her to brush him away, but instead, she squeezed back.

Castle took a deep breath, then continued. He didn't want to upset her, but he needed her to know. "It was always the same quiet 'thank you', the same sadness, the same haunted look. Then, at the 'Storm Fall' launch party, when you called my name I didn't recognize your voice at first. Then I turned around, and there you were. Your hair was cut in that cute, little bob. You still had the same haunted, sad look in your eyes, but there was also strength, hope, and I knew in those three seconds that you were going to be okay."

"How do you remember that?" Asked Beckett, in awe.

"You were so real, so wholesome, so genuine the first time I met you, that you stayed in my head. At the signings after your mother died, there was such a drastic change that you shocked me, and I remembered you again."

Beckett said nothing, she just continued to hold Castle's hand. She knew she was in the precinct, she knew that Ryan and Esposito would start making all sorts of jokes and innuendos. She didn't care. Castle was warm and comforting. He was kind, and sweet, for caring so much about her, when she was a complete stranger. He had a good heart, and that was all that mattered.

A/N: Well? You like? You hate? Review ^_^