First Castle fanfic. All mistakes are my own, I'm not perfect so there will be mistakes. If you point them out I'll go and fix and reupdate. enjoy.


An instant before the crack of the bullet, Castle's weight slammed into Beckett sending them both sprawling to the ground. The breath was taken from her lungs in such a force it left her momentarily dazed. Beckett vaguely heard shouts, feet hitting pavement, and another exchange of gunfire. Then as the world began to fall back into place she realized that Castle was still sprawled on top of her. "You know if this is your way to cop a feel Castle, just ask next time I might just let you to spare this pain."

Castle chuckled, moved to get up, only to collapse back on top of her. "Sorry." He mumbled.

"Come on Castle you're not that old." Beckett joked and then she felt the blood. Her heart lurched straight into her throat in realization it wasn't hers, but Castle. As gently as she could, the detective eased the writer off of her and on to his back. His white button down was streaked with crimson and his face ashened as shock settled in. Peeling back his coat, Beckett found the exit wound dangerously close to his chest. She tugged the radio from her belt, "Central this is mobile unit. We have an officer down. I repeat we have an officer down!"

Despite all her years of training Beckett's voice broke as she relayed their position to the dispatcher. Still dazed, Castle saw the blood that coated his partner's hands and panicked. "Kate you're hit!" He tried to move but a pain shot through his whole body leaving him breathless.

Beckett eased him back down, "It's you." She slipped out of her jacket to use it as she applied pressure to help slow the bleeding.

When realization hit him Castle made an 'O' face, yet his mind was still focused on her. "It didn't get you."

If it was possible she found herself falling more in love with him. "No." She assured fighting back tears and the panic. Blood never really bothered Beckett, but something about seeing some one she cared about laying in a pool of their own made her stomach quiver. With fear came the anger. Anger that she let Castle tag along to such dangerous places. Anger that the writer had been stupid enough not to have a vest on. Anger he had to put himself in harms way as if to prove himself. "Damn it Castle." Tears threatened to spill over as he grimaced in pain.

For some reason it was becoming harder to breathe. The pain was so over whelming Castle felt the blackness of unconsciousness lick at the edge of his mind. He wasn't sure if it was the permanent or temporary kind. Either way Castle wasn't going to let things go unsaid. "Kate." Using her first name had the Detective glancing down at him and that when he saw the pure fear in her eyes. And Kate Beckett didn't fear anything.

"Just hang in there." Beckett shook him when his eyes dropped, "No Castle stay awake! Rick please just stay with me."

Castle reached a blood soaked hand to her cheek, "Always."

When he would have dropped it, Beckett caught it in her own and kept it pressed to her face not ready to lose the contact terrified that this would be their last. This wasn't how it was suppose to be! They were suppose to have so much more time together. Thinking of a life where Castle wasn't there with his stupid jokes or theories terrified Beckett to no end. "You have to hang on okay. Alexis and Martha, they need you." She took a shaky breath no longer hiding the tears, "I need you Castle."

Her declaration had his lips curving into his signature smile only to be extinguished but the rush of pain. "Kate." Castle struggled to keep his eyes open for a moment longer. "Take care of Alexis. You're the only one I trust to."

Beckett was sure that after this the girl would want nothing to do with her. If it weren't for her Castle wouldn't be in constant danger. "You know I will."

Castle began to squirm desperately seeking relief from the burning pain, "God this hurts."

"I know." Beckett stroked her thumb over the back of his hand in comfort. Then he began to cough and the fear magnified as blood leaked out the side of his mouth. A cold hand took hold of her insides twisting it into a painful ball. The bullet had struck a lung and judging by the way he wheezing it was on the verge of collapsing. "Why? Why did you do that Castle? You're suppose to be safe in your apartment writing. Not putting yourself in this kind of danger."

His eyes began to drop again, "It's not about the books anymore." He whispered and Beckett lowered her head straining to hear him. "Kate I l-."

And just like Beckett had in the freezer all those weeks ago, Castle's head lolled to the side as the blackness took him over. Frantic, Beckett took his face in her blood covered hands, "Rick no! No damn it! Rick!" It was no use.

Ryan slid down beside the pair his breath coming in pants, "The ambulance is on its way down." He took over applying pressure to the wounds his heart hitching at the blood soaking into his pants. This wasn't looking good. "Esposito got the suspect."

"Good." Beckett did nothing to mask the tears as she looked to Ryan, "Because I'm going to make him pay for this."


Once the paramedics came, Ryan had to pry Beckett from Castle's side so they could do their jobs. Usually so strong, the female Detective was almost limp in his arms as they made their way outside. It was a state Ryan could only recall seeing Beckett it in once if that.

Outside the street was flooded with flashing lights and emergency personal. Montgomery and Esposito were on the pair the moment they step free of the building. The Capitan took Beckett by the arm concerned by her frail state. "Kate." He used her first name forcing her to snap her gaze to him. Tears were streaming down her pale blood stained face. In that quick instant he knew it was bad.

"I need to call Alexis and Martha." Daze, Beckett tried to step forward on her own only to collapse causing the three men to lurch forward to catch her. It didn't matter who saw her or how this would affect her reputation. All that mattered was Rick Castle and the fact that he was going to leave her alone. How was it only in these near death moments they kept having did Beckett have the courage to admit what he meant to her? And why couldn't she ever tell him? This time it was different, this time it wasn't both of them facing death. This time Castle was going at it alone.

Espositio lowered her gently to the curb, "Ryan go get a medic."

"No!" Beckett spoke her voice barely above a whisper but it stopped Ryan in his tracks. Pull yourself together Kate! She silently screamed at herself wiping furiously at her tears forgetting momentarily that her hands were caked in red. Seeing the site of them almost made her sick. "I'm fine."

Montgomery handed her a cloth when she began to rub her hands against her jeans in attempt to clean them. "What happened?"

Beckett forced her mind to go back into cop mode. "We came here to canvas the apartment. The super said no one had been seen in it for days, it was suppose to be routine. That's why no vest." Her voice hitched, "Guess our killer left something there. I should have known. I should have made him put on that stupid vest."

"Hey." The older man gave her a quick shake, "This isn't your fault. Now Ryan is going to take you back to the station to clean up and then he'll take you to the hospital."

"No way in hell, sir." Beckett fired off damning the repocutions. "I'm going with him."

"Look at you." He gestured to her appearance, "You're covered in blood, Beckett. Do you want his family to see you like this?"

Espositio could tell that they weren't going to weaken Beckett's resolve so he offered a solution. "I'll call Lanie to meet you at the hospital with fresh clothes. That way you'll be cleaned up before Little Castle gets there."

Beckett pushed onto her shaking limbs when the paramedics wheeled out Castle on the stretcher. Blood was still everywhere and it was a great contrast to his pale skin. They had bagged him with a breathing tube and one of the medic's was pushing air into the man's lungs. "What happened?"

The young man turned to look at the group of cops, "He was having trouble breathing and he has blood in his lungs. We only have room for one." He announced as they loaded the injured man into the waiting ambulance.

"We will see you there Beckett." Ryan pushed her forward.


Beckett stayed by his side holding his limp hand until she was once again forced apart. For a moment she was lost at the contact, but thankfully Lanie had timed it right and arrived just in time.

Lanie's heart burst at the site of her friend with her hands, face, and clothes covered in blood. "Kate." It wasn't often she used the detective first name. "Are you hurt?"

"What?" Beckett snapped out of her trance and looked at her ruined blouse and jacket, "No umm it's all his."

And just like that Laine watched the adrenaline leave her friend and caught her before she crumbled. "Come on let's get you cleaned up." Slipping an arm around Beckett's waist, the ME stirred the detective to the nearest bathroom.

"I need to call Alexis. They need to hear it from me and not some news station." Beckett wasn't even really sure how they made it to the bathroom. This wasn't like her. She should be level headed in this situation, not crumble like some weak female.

"I know you do, but first you need to get it out of your system. Yell, scream, just what ever before Alexis gets here. She will need you." Part of Lanie expected Beckett to just let it roll of, but this was one of the times her friend reminded her she was human just like everyone else.

Beckett let it out by releasing the tears she had been resisting since the drive over. Holding a hand to her mouth, she sank wordless to the ground her shoulders shaking with muffled sobs. She still couldn't let it all go afraid if she did then there would be not enough pieces to put her back together. And Beckett had to be strong. If not for herself then for Alexis and Martha. They had trusted her to take care of their man and she failed.

Lanie sat next to her offering now words of comfort because she knew they would do no good. Instead she did what Castle would do, she joked. "You know once he realizes the scene you made over him his ego is going to be the size of Texas with no way of deflating it." The ME was pleased that she got a small chuckle out of Beckett. "Plus you and I both know that getting gunned down isn't a good enough death for Castle. Writer Boy will go out with a lot more flash. Or maybe by tripping over a rock, yeah I can see it now."

"I can't lose him Lanie." Beckett whispered through the tears, "Not in my stead."

"And you won't. There are too many people that need him. And, I swear you better not repeat this, I kind have grown fond of him myself. He's good for you, Kate, and the rest of the team." Lanie soothed Beckett's mattered hair from her face, "You love him. I don't know how many more near death experiences you two are going to go through until you can tell him-."

"Believe me this is the last one." The detective vowed intending to keep that promise.

"Good now get cleaned up and call Alexis while I go get some information."

Beckett stayed seated staring at her phone until she was alone. Taking a deep breath, she hit the speed dial for Castle's apartment and waited.


Beckett was on her second cup of coffee when she heard Alexis call out for her. She barley stood before she was stumbling back due to the force of the teenager's hug. "Hey, it's okay." She soothed feeling Alexis shutter with silent tears.

An out of breath Martha caught up with her granddaughter trailed by Espositio and Ryan looking frazzled. "Detective Beckett what happened."

Fresh tears burned the back of Beckett's throat, "I'm so sorry it wasn't suppose to happen. We were just looking into the victim's apartment. He pushed me out of the way. I'm sorry Martha I-." She trailed off emotions making it difficult to speak. Beckett braced herself for the anger but was shocked beyond believe when the older woman shook her head and wrapped her arms around both her and Alexis. Anger Beckett could deal with, but this was just too much and it took all will power not to let herself break down.

Alexis looked up at the detective, "Can we see him?"

"He's in surgery right now. They will come and get us when they're done."

Martha squeezed both their shoulders before drawing away. "Then let's sit. Family should wait together."

Beckett stumbled for a moment at Martha's statement. She was right. Some how along the course of her partnership with Castle, Beckett had become a part of this family. With a small smile the detective took Alexis's hand and sat.

"Have they said anything?" Ryan asked sitting on the opposite side of the trio.

"Laine got some information for me." Beckett started, "It was a clean shot which is good considering. But it nicked his right lung and that's the reason for the surgery. They need to stop the bleeding."

"So he's going to be okay?" Alexis asked.

Because she was compelled to, Beckett ran a soothing hand over the girl's hair, "Bearing no complications in surgery, they said he's going to be just fine."

Martha let out a breath she didn't realize she was holding, "Thank God."


About an hour later Alexis had passed out to sheer exhaustion and Beckett slipped the teenager's head from her lap and went in search of coffee. When she got to the machine she found Martha struggling to pick up the cup due to trembling hands. "Here." Taking it upon herself, Beckett reached for it.

Martha gave her a grateful smile, "Thanks." She took a sip of the coffee and made a face at the horrible taste.

"You think this is bad you should try what we use to drink at the station before Castle rescued us with his espresso machine." Beckett smirked shoving coins in the machine for her own cup.

"Who is with Alexis?"

"Ryan and Espositio. None of us are going anywhere, Martha." The detectives wouldn't budge even if a bomb went off. Castle might not be a cop but to the people at the 12th he was. Come morning the waiting room would be filled with people from the homicide division.

"You know I asked him once why he kept doing this. Following you all around when he never needed to before to write a book. A part of me thought he was getting a child like thrill at playing cop." Martha waited for the detective to turn to face her. "But he is apart of all of you. He helps makes a difference or other wise you guys wouldn't be camped out in that room."

"Your son, as much of pain of an ass he can be, helps make our job just a little bit less difficult. He makes it fun, which is something we need after dealing with death every day. Of course we don't let him know or other wise his head wouldn't fit through the door."

The older woman smiled, "You love him?"

"I do." Beckett answered with out hesitation. After so much time ignoring or denying said feelings it surprised her how easily it rolled out of her. "More then I thought possible. He's changed me, Martha, for the better and for that alone I love him."

"You've changed him too, Kate. I've always loved my son no matter what, but in the time he's spent with you he's become a better man."

"Beckett." Espositio popped his head into the vending area breaking up the moment, "Doctor just came out."

Coffee forgotten, Martha linked arms with Beckett and followed the male detective back to the waiting room. She went to wake her granddaughter but Beckett stopped her. Martha had the pleasure of watching the woman interact with Alexis. The way her voice was soft and soothing and her eyes full of emotions had Martha smiling because it was clear that Beckett felt a love towards Alexis as a mother might.

Once he was sure that everyone ready, the doctor spoke, "Mr. Castle came through surgery just find." The entire room expelled a relived breath. "Now when you see him he will be on a respirator and that's normal for some one with his type of injury. The machine is helping his body to breathe so it can relieve some of the stress his body is going through."

"How long will he be on it?" Beckett asked.

"A day, two at the most. The bullet didn't fully penetrate his lung so his lung didn't collapse but it was enough to have fluid and blood fill his lungs." The doctor explained. "We will monitor it to make sure it doesn't break open and if it doesn't we will take Mr. Castle off the respirator and see how he does on his own."

This time Alexis interrupted with a question, "Can we see him?"

"As soon as he is moved into ICU, but he will be sedated until the respirator is removed. That said you might notice him twitching or become restless, this is normal. That mean's his body is fighting to breath on it's own. If it gets to bad we will put him under further." The doctor explained, "Now we can only let family in. Tomorrow he will be allowed to have normal visitors. So if his family would come with me I'll show you to the ICU waiting room."

Martha and Alexis stood instantly then looked to Beckett when she remained seated. Alexis pulled her up, "What did Grams say about family?"

The corner of Beckett's mouth lifted, "They wait together." She repeated, "Castle is right you're too smart for your own good."

They were allowed to see him just shortly before dusk. Martha tried and failed to convince Alexis to go home and Beckett didn't even try knowing it was useless. So they all stayed. Martha curled into a chair at her son's bedside while Alexis and Beckett took the small couch. The older woman fell asleep within minutes.

"Can I ask you something?" Beckett's voice broke through the eerie noise of the respirator. For as long as she lived she would never forget the sound as the machine inflated his lung sounding a like balloon only to hiss out the air a moment later.

Alexis pushed her hair out of her face as she turned to look at the detective, "Of course."

Beckett felt foolish for asking, but Alexis's opinion was important, "Would it be weird if your dad and I started dating?" When the girl's eyes went wide Beckett had her answer.

"Are you kidding me!" Alexis laughed, "It would be awesome! I know how much he cares and respects you. You're so like all the other women he dated because you're good for him. Plus I like you so that's a big plus."

Beckett laughed drawing Alexis into her side, "I'm glad to hear it." Soon it was a great task for them to keep their eyes open and the two followed Martha into sleep.


Blood. No matter where she looked it was everywhere. It invaded every sense of her being causing the icy claw of panic grip at her stomach. Beckett scrubbed furiously at her hands, but no matter how hard she tried the she couldn't clean them of the blood. Then she heard Castle cry out causing the detective to search the blackness only she couldn't find him.

"Kate." A voice echoed and Beckett felt a pair of hands grip her shoulder. "Detective Beckett."

The cornered voice of two females pulled the sleeping Detective from her nightmare with Castle's name on her lips. Blinking, Beckett looked around the room wildly as trying to get her bearing street. "Wh-?" She looked to the two concerned Castle Women, "What?"

Martha helped Beckett sit up to wrap an arm around her shoulder, "You were having a nightmare." She whispered as Alexis sat on the other side of Beckett. "Saying something about blood."

Alexis reached a hand to Beckett's face and that's when the woman realized she was crying. Embarrassed, Beckett swiped at her cheeks with the back of her sleeve mopping up the tears. "Bad dream." She whispered and found herself wrapped in the loving embrace of the two women. Beckett had never been a real touchy feely kind of person or one to accept any type of comfort. And being trapped between Grandmother and Grandchild it should feel odd or at least uncomfortable. Yet this just seemed right. Somehow in the span of time she had spent with Castle Beckett had become a part of this family. For reasons unknown it felt right. "Really bad dream."

Martha stroked Beckett's damn hair from her face, "Given all the stress you've been through the last couple days it's understandable." Hearing the detective cry out for her son in her sleep tore at Martha's heart. Beckett had always come across so strong willed and it was one of the things she admired most about the girl. It was what made her good for her son. "Come on let's get you some air."

Beckett pulled away in protest, "No I um-." She found the words stolen from her as Martha's stern gaze fell upon her. Instantly, the detective felt like a three year that had been caught with her hands in the cookie jar. "He shouldn't be alone."

"I'll stay." The seventeen year old piped up.

Beckett shook her head in protest taking the girl's hand in her own, "No you don't need to be alone either. If your grandmother is forcing me for air you're coming with me. I know you've been putting up a good front about all this."


The corner of Beckett's mouth lifted, "Your father has rubbed off on me. Come on." She tugged Alexis to her feet looking to Martha, "Can I bring you back something?"

"No now go." Martha ushered.

It seemed so natural for Beckett to wrap her arm around Alexis's shoulder and draw her to her side as they walked. "Did you sleep at all?"

"The best I could." Alexis tipped her head onto the detective's shoulder relaxed completely. No disrespected to her own mother, Alexis admired Beckett as the mother she never really had. "I just woke up when you started trashing in your sleep."

Silently, Beckett cursed herself. She had hoped to at least appear strong for the teenager. "Sorry." She mumbled and since she knew they both didn't want to stray far, they sat on a bench near the vending machines. Martha wouldn't look for them here.

"You're good for my dad, Kate." Alexis lifted her gaze from her twisting hands.

"If it wasn't for me your father wouldn't be here." Beckett pointed out.

"No I mean it. I love my dad, but god help him he was so lost." Alexis tried to search for a better word but could only come up with that. "But in the three years you two have been partners he's grown up. He's more responsible and makes him a better person and father. Not that he wasn't a good father before because he was great."

"I know, he loves you very much. Every morning I felt honored that he would share his questions and memories he had with you.

"How about we get back in there." Beckett suggested, "Maybe I can get Lanie or one of the boys to stop by Remey's for some lunch."

"Thank you, Kate. For understanding my need to be here and not making me go home."

"This is how I look at it, Lex." Beckett stood with a small smile, "I promised your dad I would look after you and I can't do that I'm here and you're not. But the moment you need a break just let me know and I'll take you where ever you want."

Alexis smiled, "Deal."

The doctors were true to their words. Just after eight that night the three women were shooed from the room so they could remove Castle from the respirator. Beckett lead them back to the waiting room where Ryan was sprawled out amongst a row of chairs trying to catch a little sleep. When Castle started shadowing her it was annoying to say the least, but over the following two years he had become a vital part of their team. So in turn that meant Ryan nor Espito where going anywhere any time soon because cops stuck with their own.

Ryan shook himself awake when the heavy door clicked shut, "Oh." Seeing that he took up half the space, he quickly sat up. "Is there something wrong?"

"No." Martha assured touched beyond words that everyone from the 12 was taking shifts to wait on new about her son. As a mother she thought that her son was just being childish and basking in the opportunity to play cops. Maybe a part of him was, but Castle was making a difference and it was evident by the trickle of different people from the 12th. "They're removing him from the respirator."

"That's good!" Ryan rubbed the sleep from his eyes, "I should call the Capitan to update him. Lanie is on her way with some fresh clothes and food."

"Lanie is here with fresh clothes and food." The ME corrected shouldering her way through the door. Her arms were full of plastic and brown bags and tray with three white cups. "And real coffee!"

"Lanie I think I love you." Maratha snatched up one quickly and took a long pull from the container. "God that's good."

"Anything for Mama C." Lanie passed Beckett and Alexis the remaining cups. "You guys are all out here, is everything fine?"

Unconsciously, Alexis found herself leaning against Beckett, "They're removing the respirator to see if he can breathe on his own."

The door opened and Beckett looked up only to blink in surprise, "Josh?"

Ryan and Martha jolted to their feet mumbling excuses before fleeing the room. Lanie set down most of the bags, but kept one as she hooked her arms through Alexis's, "Come on Little Castle." She tugged them towards the door, "Let's get you changed."

Alexis stopped at the door, "Kate-."

The detective gave the girl a reassuring smile, "I'll come find you if anything happens, I promise." That seemed to be sufficient for the teenager as she let the ME drag her from the room leaving Beckett alone with Josh. Well this is awkward she dimly thought pushing her loose hair from her face, "When did you get back?"

Josh shuffled his weight foot from foot, "Just last week. I heard some people talking about some writer being shot and I tried calling you at the 12th. And well I put two and two together." He shrugged the rest off as an uncomfortable silence filled the room. It had been a month since he had left for Haiti and it was also the day that their relationship ended. It wasn't like the break up caught Josh by surprise or anything. Long before that night he could feel Beckett slipping away, but it didn't stop his jealousy from over flowing that night. She hadn't admitted, at least not out right, that she wanted someone else. And that someone being Richard Castle. In the end, Josh licked his wounds, packed up his things, and bided her a good life because if anything Beckett deserved to have at least that. "How is he?"

Beckett had to sit before the nerves got the best of her. "The bullet nicked his lung. He had surgery when they first brought him in and now are seeing if he is strong enough to breathe on his own."

After a moment's hesitation, Josh took a seat beside Beckett, "What happened? I thought you said Writer Boy always wore a vest."

She stopped herself before she could laugh at the way he said the nickname. Beckett wondered if both men knew they never called the other by their given name. "We went to knock on some doors and revisit the victim's apartment, it was all routine." Guilt flooded her voice and Beckett didn't protest when Josh laid a reassuring hand on her shoulder. "It was just suppose to be routine. Next thing I know Castle is yelling about a gun and we both hit to door. He stepped in the path when he tackled me to the ground. Stupid-."

Josh squeezed her shoulder, "No it wasn't stupid, Kate. It was just a normal reaction for someone to do when they care about the person in danger"

"But I'm the cop and I didn't need him to do that. If it hit me it would have been a clean shot through the shoulder."

"Or it could have went straight through your heart. To him it didn't make any difference." If put in the same position Josh was sure he would have done the same thing. "I was hoping that with us being through you might open your eyes to the fact you've had someone caring for you all this time. As much as I hate to admit this, Castle was the one you should have been with all this time. You deserve happiness and Writer Boy can give you that if you just open your stubborn eyes."

A watery laugh escaped Beckett, "Aren't you suppose to say how he horrible he is for me and you were far better."

Josh smiled, "I should, but Kate I care about you and that will never change. You deserve to be happy and to have a good life. I'm not jaded to not want that for you even if it is with some one else."

"You're going to make some girl real happy Josh." Beckett gently predicted and hoped more than anything that Josh found what she had all along. Some one who undoubtedly loved, cared, and protected her even when she protested. "And my eyes are open Josh."

"You just haven't told him."

Beckett rubbed her temple, "Things have been complicated."

"That's a cop out Kate Beckett. I thought you didn't hide from anything."

"I don't its just-." She trailed off when she really couldn't form a good enough answer. Yes things were complicated because both she and Castle had tried to move on with other people. Then there was the fact Beckett wasn't going to just get Castle wasn't she bared all her feelings but a family in the form of two red heads that were very much a part of Castle that she loved. She loved both Martha and Alexis and always was dazzled by how quickly they pulled her and made her feel like she was a part of the family instead of an outsider looking in. Maybe that's what Beckett was afraid of. After her mother's death, a family wasn't something she really knew anymore until she made on at the 12th with the boys. With the Castles it was different, it was normal and happy so far from her own even before her mother died.

"Stop making excuses Kate." John pleaded. "Life is short."

Beckett almost laughed at how true that was. In the last five months she had been nearly assassinated, hunted by a hired killer, engaged in a shoot out with terrorist, nearly frozen to death and to top it off nearly blown to pink mist. In every instance she hadn't been alone. Castle had been by her side ready to face death alongside her. "Thanks Josh."

The doctor gave her one of his charming smiles as he pushed to his feet. "I'll go check on him for you. Be happy Kate Beckett."

"You too."

As if they were lingering by the door, Alexis and Lanie returned a moment after Josh vacated the room. Both women flanked the detective both wearing eager expressions.

Lanie rubbed her friend's shoulder, "Everything okay?"

"Yeah he was just making sure I was okay and offered to check out Castle's medical chart to make sure he is getting the best care." Beckett assured just as the doctor entered to bid them back into the room.


Tired, Beckett laid her head on the edge of the bed next to Castle's hands which was linked with her own. The night had come and go and the sun was just now peaking over the horizon. The doctor had warned them that it could be some time for the sedative to leave Castle's system. Alexis had tried to stay up until her father woke, but crashed just around one in the morning. Because it was more comfortable the detective convinced the teenager to stretch out on some chairs instead of the small couch.

"You got a great girl there Castle." Beckett whispered into the dimly lit room. "You're right she is far too smart for her own good. In fact I think she's far too smart to be yours."

She stopped speaking hoping that maybe that Castle would come back with one of his smart ass remarks. But of course there was nothing but the faint beep of his vitals on the machine.

"I swear Castle you better wake up." Beckett turned her so her gaze fell onto his pale handsome face. "I told you before I've gotten use to having you around, having you watch my back. This isn't going to work if you're not here. Plus your daughter and mother need you." She brought their joined hands to her lips, "I need you."

"Beckett." Castle groaned flexing his hand to try to free it from its restraint. "Beckett."

The detective jolted to her feet gently taking his face in her hands to get his gaze to focus on her. "I'm here." She whispered watching his blue orbs try to focus through the haze of pain meds. "I'm right here."

After a moment of confusion a smile grew across his face, "Hey."

Beckett smiled through the tears, "Hey to you too mister."

"I'm in the hospital?" Castle asked.

"Yes you were shot doing something incredibly-"

"Stupid." He finished.

"Brave." Beckett corrected and another jolt ran through her, "I'll be right back."

Castle struggled to snag her hand, "Don't go."

"I'm not going anywhere far." Beckett assured placing a soft kiss on the man's brow, "I just promised Alexis I'd wake her the moment you did."

Castle's voice stopped her by the door, "Kate." He waited until she turned back, "Love you, y'know."

A slow and genuine smile lit up her face, "love you too, y'know."

And just like that, after all the walls, arguing, excuses and obstacles, everything was out in the open. Surprisingly it wasn't nearly as scaring as either of them thought it would be.

sorry for the sucking ending but writing this helped me get over my writer's block I had for weeks. Still hope you enjoyed enough to hit the review button below!