Title: Not Your Normal Week
Spoilers: Setup and Countdown
Note from the author: This is my first Castle fic. I hope you enjoy it. :)
Disclaimers: All characters are property of ABC.
Normally Richard Castle would strike up a conversation with a cab driver, but it wasn't a normal day. Hell, it hadn't even been a normal week! He never really thought about the danger he was in following a New York detective in the field, but his life had flashed before his eyes three times in past 72 hours.
First he and Beckett were almost exposed to radiation, then they almost froze to death, and finally a bomb almost blew up in their faces. All of it made him realize that he was more in love with Detective Kate Beckett than he thought.
Of course seeing Josh once when he woke up in the ambulance, then at the precinct picking up said detective also made him realize he was out of his league. The guy was a doctor and he decided not to leave for his trip to Africa. He was nice to boot. Rick wanted her to be happy and if she was happy with Josh then who was he to stand in her way? He just wished it could be with him instead.
Taking a deep breath he closed his eyes, leaning his head against the seat. Too much thinking about this made him feel sluggish and nauseated. He was freezing too and just wanted to get under a hot shower. He blinked when he heard a voice permeate the fog in his brain.
"Sir, we've arrived," the man said looking at him in the rearview mirror.
"Uh, right!" Rick said, slowly getting out of the cab. He reached into his pocket and handed the driver some money. "Keep the change."
The doorman greeted him. "Good evening, Mr. Castle. Are you all right?"
"What? Oh, yeah. Just been distracted. It's been a long day," Rick replied.
"I hear ya!" the man said with a nod. "Have a good night."
Rick arrived on his floor a few minutes later. It was then he realized he hadn't even called his mother or Alexis yet. Since the trip to the loft seemed to tire him out more than he thought possible, he just sent Alexis a quick text. He also told her to wait until the morning to come home. He didn't want them driving around in the dark. Rick set down his phone and took a quick shower. By the time he got out he was freezing. Teeth chattering freezing. He also felt achy all over and his throat was starting to bother him.
"Great," he muttered, grabbing the thermometer. It beeped after a few minutes and, sure enough, he had a fever. Rick took some Tylenol and dressed in a pair of sweats and t-shirt then he sank onto his bed. He ignored the sound of texts being received as he drifted off to sleep.
"Darling, your father said to wait until morning."
"It's not like we're driving, Gram," Alexis replied, packing her things. "Besides, I'm worried about him."
Martha frowned. "What do you mean?"
"He sent me a text. I thought he would call and tell us... something. And I'm worried something happened."
"You mean to Kate?"
Alexis shrugged. "I don't know but it just bothers me. Something isn't right."
She smiled, giving her granddaughter a hug. "All right, I'll take care of our transportation then."
The two women arrived back in New York around midnight. Alexis' concern was really growing when she still hadn't heard back from her dad. She was almost tempted to text Detective Beckett, but decided against it. Her dad didn't go out much with her so she didn't want to bother Kate, especially if he was just sitting in the loft having another Firefly marathon. Alexis unlocked the door and was surprised to find all the lights still on but no sign of her dad.
Martha exchanged a look with her. "Text him again." She did so and they heard his phone. "He's home, he's just upstairs."
Alexis nodded, but she was still confused as to why he wasn't answering any messages. He was usually either texting or tweeting. The young girl decided to go upstairs and surprise him. What she found wasn't what she expected. She found him huddled under the covers shivering. "Dad?" she said, moving towards him. She placed a hand on his forehead and her eyes widened. "Gram!" she exclaimed.
Rick's eyes blinked open when he heard Alexis speak. He knew he was dreaming, though because he told her to stay in the Hamptons until morning. He closed his eyes and felt a hand on his forehead, then a loud shout for "Gram". He conceded that his daughter and mother were back home. "Please don't shout," he told Alexis. It came out in a harsh whisper, though.
Martha entered the room and said, "Richard!"
"He has a fever, Gram."
"I can't believe you've been sick this entire time and you told us not to come home until the morning."
Rick was too tired to argue with his mother. He rarely won anyway. "I'm good, just cold and everything aches and my throat hurts and..." He trailed off as he began to cough.
"Stop that right now!" Martha said. She turned to face Alexis. "Why don't you make some chamomile tea for your father?" Alexis nodded and went down to the kitchen. "Have you taken any medication?"
"Um... Tylenol a few hours ago, I think."
Rick snuggled more under the covers now that his mother was there. He would never admit it but he loved to be coddled. If anyone ever found out he'd be so embarrassed. Well, Alexis knows it but that's all right, it's not like she would tell anyone. He knew Beckett would tease him to no end. There he went again! His thoughts always seemed to drift back towards the detective. He couldn't help it. It was like breathing. Rick had never felt like this about anyone before. Certainly he loved his ex-wife but she just didn't compare with Kate Beckett.
He felt a cool washcloth on his forehead and before he could stop himself, he whispered, "I love her..."
"I know you do, darling," Martha replied, caressing his face. "She'll realize soon enough that she loves you too."