Hello, darlings. Would you be excited to find out that I had started writing this companion piece as soon as I finished writing The Right Way? Actually, I started writing this one before I started writing the first part of this two-shot, but I figured Castle's perspective fit better as the first part.
Besides, in my opinion we don't get enough KatexJim father-daughter love. We always see Rick and Alexis, but we rarely see the relationship between Kate and her father.
I hope you enjoy it (:
"I had a feeling you'd be here."
Kate looked up when she heard the familiar voice call out to her. She was momentarily surprised, but the shock was quickly replaced with the warm feeling in her chest every time she saw her father.
After the last few days, it was no surprise that she'd ended up here. Despite being a painful reminder of what had happened, the cemetery always managed to put Kate at ease. And after any particularly tragic case or significant event in her life, she liked to tell her mother about it.
So here she was, sitting cross-legged on the ground in front of her mother's grave, her fingers absentmindedly placed on the marble stone which had been engraved with the name "Johanna Beckett" over ten years ago.
She stood up to hug her father tightly before returning to her spot in front of her mother's grave, her hand touching the cool marble. Jim sat down next to her, legs crossed as he reached his hand out to touch Johanna's headstone.
They rarely ever visit Johanna at the same time. Since Jim's battle with alcoholism and Kate completely disobeying his orders and enrolling in the academy, there had been some tension whenever they put themselves in a situation where they were forced to confront the reason they went there. Besides, they were both very private people; they weren't completely comfortable with having this kind of emotional confrontation with anyone, even family.
Jim took the hand that was not touching Johanna's gravestone and held Kate's other hand.
"Well, well, well," He said, raising his eyebrows at her. "What do we have here?"
Jim flipped over their hands and looked at Kate's fingers. Kate couldn't help but smile at the ring that was currently resting on her ring finger on her left hand.
Jim eyed her, "How long were you going to try to keep this from me?"
She laughed as he lifted their joined hands closer to his face so he could get a better look at the ring. "Not long, I promise. I was actually going to head over to your place after I told mom." She glanced lovingly down at the stone and then looked to her father. "It's a relatively recent development."
"When did he ask?"
"Last night." Kate smiled at the memory. Rick's proposal had been absolutely perfect. Not necessarily what she had expected of him if he were ever to ask her to marry him (because she truly had not been expecting it), but amazing none the less. It had been so very them; unpredictable, passionate, and completely full of love.
She had woken up yesterday morning to find that his side of their bed was cold. She had been confused, until she saw the note by her pillow and she smiled at his thoughtfulness. She spent the morning lounging around the house in his dress shirt that he wore last night.
When he still wasn't home by noon, she decided that she was going to make dinner for him and went to the store. Rick had walked through the door at 4 in the afternoon with flowers calling out to her that they were going to go out to eat. Rick pouted when he entered the kitchen after she told him she was already cooking, but he soon got over it after she gave Rick a taste of the pasta she had been making; homemade ravioli stuffed with 3 different cheeses, spinach, and some oregano for taste. It had been her mother's recipe. Rick had helped her finish making dinner (making a giant mess in the process). When they finally sat down to eat, Kate noticed that Rick seemed to be getting more and more uncomfortable, so she had asked him what was wrong. He was so out of it he had dropped his utensils the moment she started to speak. He claimed he was fine, and he clearly was not going to say anything else, so she let it drop. She hoped that he hadn't had something planned over dinner and he was upset she made him cancel. They ate in silence and Kate pretended not to notice that Rick was sneaking quick glances at her.
When they had finished, Kate picked up their dishes and went over to the sink to start cleaning them. Rick came and stood next to her with a dishtowel in hand, ready to dry and put the dishes away. When Kate handed him the first dish and she saw his hand was shaking. Quickly, she put the dish back in the sink and grabbed his hand.
"Rick! What's wrong?" She asked desperately. She had never seen him like this.
"I can't do this…" He said. She dropped his hand as quickly as she had grabbed it and started backing away. Was he breaking up with her? Is that what this was all about? He was nervous because he didn't know how she was going to react? Why was he doing this?
Rick saw the hurt expression on Kate's face and he realized how his words could be construed. "No!" He ran forward and took her face in his hands. "No! No! No! No! No! Kate, that's not what I meant at all!"
Kate look confused, "Then what did you mean?"
"It wasn't supposed to happen this way. I was supposed to take you out to a fancy restaurant and you were supposed to get dressed up and you're supposed to remember this night forever…"
She cut him off, "Rick! What are you talking about!"
"I love you," he replied quickly and passionately. "So much. And I wanted to do this right because you deserve that. My god, you deserve so much more than me. But I'm so selfish, and I want you with me for the rest of my life. I want to wake up with you every morning and make your coffee for you. I want to be there for you after a tough case and make sure you eat. I want to have children with you because I see you with Alexis and I know you'd be an absolutely amazing mom. I want you to be mine."
"I'm already yours, Rick…"
He shook his head, "Not completely. I've made a lot of mistakes, Kate. And I've been with a lot of people who weren't good for me. But you… you're the best thing that has ever happened to me. I'm a better person with you around. You make me a better father to Alexis, a better son, a better writer, and a better friend. I can't imagine my life without you…"
He dropped his hands from her face and grasped one of her hands in his. The other went straight to his pocket. When he pulled out the ring and got down on one knee, she couldn't stop the tears that started to form behind her eyes.
"Katherine Beckett, I want to be your 'one-and-done.' Please… please, will you marry me?"
She nodded her head vigorously, not trusting her voice, as he slid the ring on her finger and she pulled him up to kiss her. Before her lips touched his she whispered one word.
Kate was brought out of her memory off the previous night when she felt her father give her hand a squeeze.
"He was so nervous yesterday," Jim finally said.
Kate looked at him, accusation clear in her eyes. "Wait, you knew?"
"Of course I knew. He came and asked for my blessing."
"So that's where he was yesterday."
Jim nodded, "Well… he was with another person, too."
She looked at him confused, "Who?"
Her father gave her a smile and then gave a pointed look to the flowers in the vase above the headstone.
It took Kate a moment to process what he was saying. "You mean…"
He nodded his head.
"I thought you left the flowers."
"Nope. I woke up yesterday morning feeling like I just had to come here. I found him sitting here, just talking to your mother; telling her how amazing you turned out to be and how lucky he is to have you, promising her that he'd take care of you no matter what."
Kate could feel the tears threatening to spill over. No one had ever done anything like that for her before. When any of her past boyfriends had found out her mother had been murdered (if they ever found out at all), they had avoided the topic like it was the plague. But then again, this was Rick Castle. When had he ever done what she expected him to do?
Jim cleared his throat. "She would've loved him, you know."
Kate smiled and the tears slowly slid out of her eyes. "I know. I wish he could've met her."
"He does, too." Jim replied. When he saw her sideways glance he squeezed her hand, "He said so yesterday."
The two of them fell into a comfortable silence, both lost in their own thoughts.
After some time, Jim had a question that needed to be asked.
"Did you really slap him the first time he told you he loved you?"
Kate laughed. Really, truly laughed. Now that was certainly a story to tell.
"Yes, yes I did. But I made up for it."
Kate, Esposito, and Ryan were busy taking down the murder board from their latest case. It had been rough. A serial killer who had a thing for shooting brunettes ages 20-40 at close range right in the chest. Castle had been out of town on a book tour and it had been a rough case without him.
Especially when Kate had been shot.
Thankfully, she had been wearing her vest at the time, but it was close. She and the boys had entered the killer's apartment thinking that he had long since left. They split up to search the apartment. Kate had walked into what appeared to be the killer's study. She had found all the evidence she would need to convict him; pictures, notes, letters, plans - but she hadn't expected to see him standing there with a gun pointed straight at her when she turned around.
She had tried to talk him down, but he just ignored her, saying that she couldn't change what she had done. And then, standing about 5 feet away from her, he shot her in the chest. If she was being honest, she was lucky he shot her there. She clearly had her vest on, and if he had been thinking clearly he would've shot her in the head. Still, the impact caused her to fall backwards. Upon impact, she hit her head on the ground and was knocked unconscious.
When she woke up some time later, Esposito had the suspect in handcuffs and Ryan was standing near her protectively while a paramedic went to work taking off her vest. When they looked at the vest, they realized just how lucky she had been. The bullet had gone straight through all the layers of bullet proof padding. Looking at the inside of the vest, the tip of the bullet was visible.
So when Kate and the boys officially closed the case, all she wanted to do was go home. Her chest ached and breathing hurt and all she really wanted was to curl up in a nice hot bath with one of Castle's books and forget today ever happened. They had almost had everything put away when they heard the elevator doors open.
"Beckett!" The voice cried frantically, "Kate! Where are you?"
Kate moved around to the front of her desk so Castle could see her before he tore the place apart looking for her.
"Castle! Calm down. I'm right here. What's wrong?"
He walked up and grabbed her upper arms, quickly looking her over to make sure she wasn't missing any parts. Then he became incredulous.
"What's wrong? What's wrong? I get a call from my mother while I'm on a book tour, telling me that she heard on the news that you had been shot! Were you going to tell me?"
"Castle…" she said, somewhat sheepishly, "you were working. I wasn't going to disturb you."
"Kate, I would've come."
She was now painfully aware that everyone in the bullpen was watching them. Even Montgomery had emerged from his office to see what was going on.
"Rick," she said softly, "It's not that big of a deal."
"Not that big of a deal?" He screamed. "You got shot today, Kate! I'm you're partner; I'm supposed to be there for you! Don't you dare tell me it's not a big deal. If something happens to you, I want to know about it."
"Castle! I'm completely fine."
A look of determination crossed his face, but his eyes were still angry. "Then show me. If it's not a big deal, show me where he shot you. Show me what he did to you."
She pointed to her chest.
His brow furrowed. "That's not what I meant and you know it."
She sighed, knowing that he wasn't going to back down. She also knew that he was going to be furious once he saw the ugly, nearly black bruise that was currently on her chest.
Avoiding his gaze, she took a deep breath and slowly undid the top few buttons of her blouse. His eyes never left her fingers. She pulled back to show him the bruise and he gasped.
"How far away from you was he?" He asked, trying desperately to keep his voice steady and fighting the urge to reach out and gently caress the ugly bruise that didn't belong on her flawless skin.
She whispered her response, "A little less than 5 feet."
He lost it. "You were standing 'a little less than 5 feet; away from a serial killer?"
Kate flinched, "This is my job."
He shook his head vehemently. "No, that's where you're wrong. Your job is to be a detective. You are meant to find the people who take people away from their families and give the victims the justice they deserved. Your job is to give the victim's families the closure they need. It's not your job to die Kate!"
She noticed that his hands were clenched into fists. "Castle…"
"Don't 'Castle' me! You could've died today Kate! And I wasn't here! I don't know what I'd do without you…"
"No! You just don't get it do you? Don't you see that this isn't about 'book research' anymore? That I don't follow you around just because I'm bored? Can't you see how much I love you?"
She was almost positive that everyone in the room had stopped breathing. She certainly had.
His eyes never left hers. "Yeah, you heard me. I, Richard Castle, am in love with you, Katherine Beckett. I love you more than I ever thought possible. I come to the precinct every morning and bring you coffee because I love you. I follow you around because I love you. I make sure you eat and sleep because I love you. I write god damn books about you because I love you! And I can't just sit around and watch you act as though you dying is 'no big deal' because I don't know what I'd do if I lost you."
Kate felt the tears burning at the corner of her eyes. She hated crying. Especially in front of her coworkers. She was angry. Of all the places he could've told her he loved her, why had he done it here? In front of all these people? And after all this time? After everything he'd put her heart through, he goes ahead and tells her the most heartfelt and beautiful words anybody had ever said to her. She had no control over her reaction.
She slapped him across the face. The tears started falling freely from her eyes.
"You are such an asshole."
While she said those words, she was smiling. Despite everything he put her through, she loved him more than he could ever imagined.
When he finally looked at her again, before he could even register what was happening, she took his hands and pulled his face down to his, kissing him fiercely.
She vaguely remembers hearing cheering coming from the people around her, but none of that mattered; because after a few seconds, Rick had wrapped his arms around her waist, pulled her closer to him, and started kissing her back.
Jim smiled at his daughter when she finished recalling the story to him.
"I don't know if I've ever heard of a woman slapping the love of her life after he confesses his love for her."
Kate blushed, "Yeah… well; now you have."
Jim, still holding Kate's hand, gave it a gentle squeeze. "That man really loves you."
She squeezed his hand back, "I know he does."
Kate looked down at her mother's headstone. She whispered softly, "I really miss her, dad."
"I know you do. I miss her, too."
She smiled at her dad and then leaned her head on his shoulder. He in turn, laid his cheek on the top of her head. He kept on speaking.
"Kate, I know that I haven't always been the best dad. I haven't always been there for you, or supportive like I should've been. I'm so sorry. I was too consumed by my own demons to see that you were fighting battles of your own."
Kate lifted her head and looked him in the eye, tears once again filling her own. "I'll forgive you if you'll forgive me. I know that I haven't exactly been… the easiest person to be around since mom died. And I know that I've said some pretty awful things to you. So, I'm sorry, as well."
He gave her hand another squeeze. "There's nothing to forgive."
They sat together for a while. Kate wasn't sure quite how long. However, she knew she should be getting home. She had promised Rick that she wouldn't be gone too long, even though she knew, if he knew where she was and who she was with, he wouldn't care.
Kate sighed, "I should probably get going."
Kate chuckled, "Something like that. Rick and I still need to tell Alexis the news. I think he mentioned something about a video chat."
Jim smiled at his daughter, "Sounds like fun. Send Alexis my love."
Kate smiled back. "You know I will."
Kate lifted her fingers to her lips and gently touched the marble stone that marked her mother's grave.
"Bye mom," she whispered, "I love you."
She stood up and her dad followed. She pulled him into a hug and he squeezed her tight.
"I love you, Katie," he said.
"I love you too, Dad."
When they let go of each other, Jim watched Kate move towards her car. When she was pulling away, Jim knelt back down and placed his fingers on Johanna's gravestone, tears in the corners of his eyes.
"Oh Jo," he said, "You would be so proud of your daughter."
So... I know some of you asked for a more in-depth look at Rick's proposal and his first confession of his love for Kate at the precinct. I hope I lived up to your expectations.
Love it? Hate it? Let me know what you think.