I know, I know. Caskett baby fics are a dime a dozen. But I couldn't help myself. I find the idea of Castle and Beckett as parents endlessly intriguing. I also wanted to try an angsty version of this story. I went the fluff route with a similar Bones fic I'm working on and wanted to try something new(ish)!

So this is pretty self-explanatory. It starts out with some shameless smut then dives right into the angst. I hope you enjoy. Reviews are much appreciated.

Her hands were gripping the lapels of his coat, dragging him inside, before he could even step through the doorway. Within seconds, she was backing him up against the door, her hands insistent on the buttons of his shirt. It took him a second to catch up to her feverish movements as she hastily thrust the shirt off his shoulders, her mouth falling to the smooth planes of his chest, licking, sucking, biting in all the ways that made him come undone.

He groaned, his hands automatically reaching out to encircle her waist and draw her close. "Kate…" he breathed, a question in his voice that she had no intention of answering.

"No talking," she ordered.

She held his eye for a split second, daring him to argue with her, but he didn't. Instead, he spun her in his arms and pressed her against the door. He swept his hand under her thigh and hitched her up. She complied instantly—long, slender legs locking around his waist. She sighed at the pressure of his body against hers, the sweep of his nimble fingers up the front of her blouse, undoing each button with a quick flick of the wrist.

Her shirt fluttered forgotten to the hardwood floor and her bra joined it moments later. His mouth was on her immediately, sucking one nipple into his warm mouth while his fingers toyed with the other, pinching just hard enough to make her gasp and writhe against him.

"Castle…" she sighed, a desperate edge to her voice that gave him pause.

He glanced up at her and she whimpered her discontent. His hands were suddenly gentle on her waist. He ran his hands up her sides, his thumbs brushing the edge of her breasts in a whisper-soft caress that made her shiver.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

He was genuinely concerned. She hated it. "I'm fine," she said, squirming under the directness of his stare.

"Kate…"

"I'm fine," she repeated, her voice harder now.

A flash of hurt settled across his features. She knew he didn't believe her, but she didn't really care because he'd returned his lips to the flushed skin of her chest. He was not as aggressive as before. His touch had softened, his fingers running reverently over every inch of bare skin he could find. She knew she should be annoyed, but found she wasn't. She realized that a part of her had needed this—this gentleness, his gentleness. It may have been desperation that had made her call, but it was loneliness—an unspeakable desire for comfort—that let him continue now.

His hand migrated from her breast to the waistband of her yoga pants and slipped inside. Oh, yes, she thought deliriously. I definitely needed this.

"God, you're so wet," he groaned, one finger slipping between her folds.

She could only moan her approval as he swiped the pad of his thumb over her clit. She shook slightly in his arms and squirmed against his hand. "Castle, I need…"

"More," he finished. He pressed his lips to her neck and whispered, "I know."

He lifted her in his arms and carried her to the bedroom, depositing her on the bed before stepping back to rid himself of his remaining clothes. She curled into him as he lay down, draping her leg across his hips. He tilted his face down and found her lips again, hands trailing across the planes of her back and up into her hair.

They kissed for a long time, tongues sliding together sensually, breath mingling in the darkness. After a while, she began to grow restless in his arms. She shifted against, rubbing against his thigh in an attempt to ease the ache flaring inside her. He flipped them over, answering her unspoken plea for more, and she immediately spread her legs to accommodate him, cradled against her hips.

He gazed down at her in the dim light, watching the way the shadows played across her beautiful face. "You going to tell me what's wrong?" he murmured.

She stilled beneath him, her eyes flashing with uncertainty. And then it was gone and she was pushing him back against the bed, pinning his body to the mattress. "Not a chance," she muttered and all the softness was gone.

She pressed her lips to his—hard—and shifted down his body and suddenly he was inside of her, groaning at the feel of her all around him. "God, Kate," he moaned as she began to rock against him, back and forth, back and forth, slow and controlled and insistent.

He rested his hands on her hips, but didn't guide her movements. He waited as she shifted slightly, changing angles until she found the one that hit that spot perfectly. When she found it, she moaned, her eyes sliding shut. The movements of her body picked up speed and he could already feel her tightening around him.

He reached between them and found her clit, pressing in just the right way. She cried his name when she came, collapsing against his chest with a satisfied sigh.

She was pliant in his arms as he flipped them over and pressed into her again, thrusting once, twice before coming as well. He fell back against the mattress and drew her into his body, loving the way she curled into him, her head pillowed on his chest, her hair tickling his chin.

He wanted to ask her what was going on. Ask her about that faraway look in her eye, the raw desperation, the staggering loneliness. But he knew she was falling asleep in his arms and the last thing he wanted to do was scare her away, so he simply rested his cheek against her hair and followed her into sleep.

When he woke up, she was gone.

Castle strode into the precinct, customary matching coffee cups in hand. He made his way towards Beckett's desk and frowned when he found it empty. He took his usual seat beside her desk and waited for her to appear. A few minutes later, he turned at the sound of heels clicking against the hardwood floor and watched her stride into the bullpen.

"Hey," he said softly, smiling up at her as she moved past him and took her seat.

"Hey, Castle," she murmured. Her normally brisk, commanding tone was uncharacteristically soft and subdued.

He frowned. "You okay?" he asked, remembering last night and the emptiness of waking up alone.

"Yeah," she muttered, not meeting his eye. She swept her hair behind her ear and pulled her chair closer to her desk, reaching out to shuffle the already perfectly organized papers on her desk.

He leaned a little closer, glancing across the room to make sure no one was within earshot. "You were…gone this morning," he said softly.

"Yeah, well, I had a lot of work to do."

He nodded. "I was going to make you breakfast," he said, half-smiling, his tone hesitantly hopeful. "Pancakes," he added. "With blueberries, the way you like it."

She nodded, visibly tense beside him. "I'm sorry," she told him. Her voice was even and controlled, but she seemed strangely fragile, like a sand sculpture that would crumble the minute he touched her. "Maybe we could go to lunch later."

He was surprised at the invitation, but worked to control his expression. "Yeah, definitely," he said coolly. "Remy's?"

The suggestion earned him a fleeting smile and he felt triumphant. "Sure."

Castle glanced across the booth at his unusually quiet partner. He took a sip of his coffee, watching as her eyes lifted from the untouched hamburger in front of her to the window. She had been acting strange all day. Silent, detached, unwilling to engage in their usual banter. Not to mention the fact that her normally vibrant face was pale and drawn. Even her eyes seemed sadder somehow.

"Something's wrong," he said. He didn't phrase it as a question this time and he was too worried to dance around the issue anymore.

Her eyes snapped from the window to his face. She blinked a couple of times, frowning, as if she'd forgotten he was there. "What?"

"You're not okay," he said gently, leaning across the table towards her.

She smiled slightly and held his gaze for an instant, before bowing her head towards the table. Her hair fell in a gentle curtain around her face. "I've been missing my mom a lot today," she admitted softly.

He nodded. "I'm sorry," he murmured automatically.

She lifted her head and looked at him, then back at the window. "Sometimes I really wish I could talk to her."

"Well," he said, unconsciously shifting forward in his seat. "Is there anything I can help with?"

She smiled that sad, half-smile again and shook her head. "Not this time."

The cryptic reply gave him pause, but before he could respond she was standing up and reaching for her jacket. "I should go, Castle," she said.

"Wait," he said. "You're not going to finish your food? Wasting a Remy's burger is like throwing away gold! It's practically sacrilegious."

She chuckled. "Just not very hungry today," she said, shrugging into her coat, reaching up to sweep her hair from the collar. "Thanks for lunch."

"Sure," he mumbled automatically.

She gave a slight nod and turned away, hoping he would stay put and not follow her. She was just pushing open the door when she heard his voice behind her. "Beckett!" he called.

She continued outside, but then stopped despite herself, pausing on the fringe of the midday rush. He appeared at her side a moment later. She didn't look at him. Kept her eyes trained on the crowd of people streaming past.

"I have to get back to work," she told him when he didn't say anything.

She could feel his eyes on her face, studying her profile. "Can I walk you back?" he asked.

She turned towards him. "I thought you had an appointment with your publisher," she said.

He shrugged and smiled his goofy, endearing smile. "You should know by now, Detective—I always have time for you."

She smiled despite herself. Rolled her eyes for good measure. He offered her his arm and she hesitated for only a split second before looping her arm through his, fingers curling around his bicep. "Thanks, Castle," she told him sincerely as they joined the throng of tourists and workers.

"No problem," he said easily. "And if you ever need to talk…" He glanced at her, his eyes warm. "Well, I'm here."

She nodded. Smiled. "I know."

When he strolled into the precinct later that evening, she was on the phone. She glanced up and caught his eye as he approached, but didn't smile. He saw something flicker across her face—something sad, resigned almost, but it was gone before he could analyze it further.

"Alright, yes," she was saying as he neared the desk. "Thank you for calling."

He sat down beside her and she returned the phone to its cradle. She folded her hands in front of her. "Can we talk?" she asked without looking at him.

He nodded. "Yeah, of course."

She glanced at him, then around at the swarming bullpen. "Not here," she murmured.

She stood from her desk and led the way into the break room. She closed the door behind them and made her way over to the coffee maker. He noticed the way her hand trembled slightly as she poured herself a mug.

"What's going on?" he asked.

She wrapped her hands around the steaming mug, but didn't take a sip. She seemed utterly distracted. She lifted her eyes to his face and he could see that she was warring with something. "I have to tell you something," she told him.

He nodded. "Alright."

She dropped her eyes to the floor. "I, um…I'm…"

He frowned and stepped towards her. "Kate," he breathed.

She shook her head slightly and he heard a slight hitch in her breathing. He reached out and took the still-untouched coffee from her unsteady hands, before wrapping his fingers around her wrist and drawing her hand between his own.

She lifted her gaze to meet his and he felt his chest tighten at the pain in her face, the same pain he'd seen stirring in her eyes the night before. "You can tell me anything," he assured her gently.

She closed her eyes at the sound of his voice. Soft and husky and warm. Unbidden images suddenly swarmed behind her eyes. Images from nights past—so many that she'd lost count now. His hands, trailing across her body. His lips, pressed to the angle of her collar bone, the hollow of her throat. His voice—that voice—whispering in her ear.

You're beautiful, he'd told her, his body a warm and welcome weight over hers.

It had been a Wednesday. Her mother's birthday, but she hadn't told him that. She didn't want pity. She just wanted. She was sad and lonely and maybe a little drunk and he hadn't asked any questions when she showed up at his door. She remembered the knowing look he'd had in his eye as he drew her into his apartment and into his arms. He didn't make her ask.

She was naked within seconds, coming in his arms only minutes later, her shuddered moan echoing in the quiet apartment. He had been gentle with her—more gentle than she'd expected. He touched her in all the right ways. Kissed her when she needed it. Held her close when it was all over.

He stared into her eyes like he was studying something hidden and dark, something that she'd buried ten years ago, something that she wasn't sure she wanted him to see. But he knew her. He knew her better than any other friend she'd ever had and in those soft, still moments, wrapped up in sheets that smelled like him, she didn't mind showing him this last part of herself. The part of her that still missed her mother so much that she could barely breathe. The part of her that still fell apart sometimes, when it was dark and quiet and she'd had a hard week.

She could be strong all the other days of the year. That night, she'd needed him and he'd been there for her. Then night turned to morning and another night and she'd gotten addicted to him and the way he touched her and held her. The way he knew her secrets.

They didn't talk about it. At work, they were partners—professionals, colleagues, friends. At home, in her bedroom or his, they were more. She lived in two worlds: one where she barely ever touched him and one where she had him, all of him. It was easier that way. She was scared that if she let the lines blur, she'd be swallowed hole by this staggering thing that was them. She wasn't ready yet, because he was still Richard Castle, playboy writer extraordinaire and every time she thought about letting him all the way in, she thought of how it had felt to watch him walk away, arm wrapped around the waist of another woman.

But this…

She couldn't hide from this. It was a bridge between those two worlds whether she liked it or not.

She kept her eyes closed and focused on the pressure of his hands, wrapped around hers. Outside, cops and clerks moved about their days. She felt far away from that world. It was just her and him and he knew her and when he held her at night, she didn't feel lonely anymore.

She let out a long breath. "I'm pregnant," she whispered.

The words were loud. They filled the space between them, drowning out the hum of the coffee maker and tick of the clock on the wall.

He was quiet for a long time. She was scared to open her eyes. "Kate," he said gently, beckoning.

She let out a long breath and opened her eyes. He was happy, she realized almost instantly. The corners of his lips curved up slightly, eyes sparkling with something that looked like awe. It was the look he got when he talked about Alexis, the look he got when she rolled her eyes at him. It made her head swim. She suddenly felt very claustrophobic.

"Are you…are you sure?" he asked, taking a careful step towards her.

"Yeah," she breathed dazedly. "That was the, um…That was the doctor, before…on the phone…"

His smile grew and she found herself frowning and pulling away. "I-I have to go," she stumbled, drawing her hand from his grasp and turning away towards the door.

"Wait, Beckett—"

She glanced at him over her shoulder. The smile was gone, replaced by a confused frown. "I'm sorry," she told him, before disappearing around the corner.

Beckett was nursing a cup of tea in a corner booth when Lanie walked into the diner and slid in across from her. "I had to leave my bed and the company of a gorgeous, naked man to come here," she said. "So this better be damned good."

Beckett smiled sadly into the contents of her ceramic mug. "I'm pregnant," she said softly. She glanced up at her friend. "Castle's the father and I…I don't know what to do."

"Oh, honey," Lanie murmured sympathetically. "Are you going to keep it?"

Beckett nodded slowly. "I think so. I'm just…confused."

"About what?"

"I'm scared, Lanie, and I don't even know what I'm scared of. Castle's a good guy and a great father and yet…" She trailed off and glanced out the window at the city, glowing in the darkness. "It's just so much. The way he looks at me sometimes…" She shook her head. "I don't know."

Lanie smiled knowingly as she watched her friend. "That boy is loves you," she said softly.

Beckett snapped her head up, looking startled and a little alarmed. "No, he doesn't."

"Uh, yes he does," Lanie insisted. "And you should let him."

"When did I ever say…"

"Girl, I know the way you are. You push people away the minute they start getting close. And you're freaked out, because Castle's gotten closer than anyone else before him."

Beckett narrowed her eyes at her friend. "I hate it when you do that."

"What? State the obvious?"

Beckett shot her a glare. "Shut up."

"Have you told him?"

She nodded, growing somber again. "Yeah. He was happy."

"Of course he was," Lanie said like any other option was ludicrous.

"Lanie…I don't know if I'm ready for this."

"You're ready to be a mother," Lanie assured her, a note of certainty in her voice that quieted some of Beckett's lingering insecurities. "And the other stuff will come in time."

"You think?"

"Definitely," she said. "And if there's one thing I know, it's that he will be there when you're ready to give into him."

It was late when he heard the doorbell ring. Alexis had gone to bed an hour ago and Martha was out late at a party. Castle moved his computer from his lap to the coffee table and stood to answer the door.

"Beckett," he greeted her, smiling softly. She smiled back, but he could see the uncertainty in her eyes. "Do you want to come in?"

"Yeah, thanks," she mumbled, moving past him and into the living room.

"Have a seat," he offered, motioning towards the couch. "Do you want something to drink?"

"Just…water," she told him.

He returned a few moments later, two glasses in hand. He handed her one then took a seat beside her, leaning back against the cushions. She sipped at her drink for a while, before resting it on the table and turning towards him. She folded her hands in her lap. "I don't really know what to say," she admitted, her voice soft and low. "I wanted to apologize for…leaving earlier. I just—"

"You got scared," he supplied, his tone knowing and gentle.

She lifted her eyes to his face and nodded. He knew her. "Yeah," she said. She shrugged and let out a soft, humorless laugh. "I'm scared. I'm scared of…this," she breathed not knowing exactly what this even meant. She held his eye bravely, wishing he would come closer and stay away all at once.

"Are you…are you going to have the baby?" he asked her uncertainly.

She didn't answer him for a while. Her gaze trailed away from his face, growing distant and unfocused as some memory pulled her in. "I told you that I missed my mom," she began softly. "And I really do. Especially today. When I found out this morning…" She trailed off and shook her head, struggling around the words.

"I got pregnant my freshman year in college," she said. Her voice was stronger now—more sure as she latched on to the story. "It was some guy I barely knew. I knew he'd never be a good father. I went home for the weekend and told my mom. She was so sweet to me. So patient. She held me while I cried. Lay in bed with me and helped me work through it. I eventually decided to get an abortion. I knew I wasn't ready to be a mom. There was so much more I wanted to do."

She paused then and the room fell into silence. Castle sat across the couch from her and watched her face. Studied the emotions as they played out, one by one. Grief, longing, regret. When she started talking again, her voice was softer, more subdued. "She came with me to the clinic. Held my hand the whole way through. I remember walking out into the sunshine and feeling this grief, but at the same time knowing I'd chosen right. We went for a walk and sat on a bench in a park. She told me that someday I would get pregnant and I would be ready to be a mother and when that day came…"

She trailed off, her throat suddenly tight. "We went to this little shop and she bought a onesie that said 'I Love My Grandma'. She told me she'd keep it safe until I needed it. And it…it gave me hope." She paused and he watched, his throat tight, as a tear leaked from the corner of her eye and trailed down her cheek. Her grief, in his eyes, suddenly had a whole new dimension to it.

"I'm ready to be a mother," she told him quietly, lifting her eyes back to his face. "I want to be a mother. I just…I thought it would be different."

"Different?" he prompted. He wanted so badly to move closer, but he didn't want to spook her.

"I mean…" She glanced at him, suddenly unsure. "I'm not really sure what we're doing here Castle. And I guess I just thought I'd be married or at least dating. I didn't think it would be an…accident. I didn't think I'd be alone."

This time, he couldn't help himself. He slid towards her on the couch and rested his hand on her shoulder. "Hey," he murmured gently. "You're not alone, okay? I'm here. I promise."

For some reason, his kindness made her tears fall harder. "Thanks, Castle," she breathed.

He smiled and wrapped his arm around her, drawing her into the side of his body. She rested her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes, letting his warmth and his smell—so familiar and comforting—wash over her.

"You do realize," he told her, "that you're never getting rid of me now."

She laughed despite herself and reached up to wipe the tears from her cheeks. "God, you're right," she grumbled good-naturedly.

He grinned, but before he could come up with a retort, they were interrupted by the sound of the door opening. Castle glanced up to see his mother sweep into the room with a grin and a flourish. "Hello, darling," she called, then paused when she spotted Beckett. "Oh, I hope I'm not interrupting."

"No, it's fine," Beckett said quickly, standing up from the couch. "I…I should be going anyway."

Martha glanced at her son and then at the detective who had been cuddled into his side a moment before. Her eyes were glassy and red-rimmed, her face tired. "Is everything alright?" she asked.

Beckett nodded. "Yeah, we were just…" She trailed off and glanced back at Castle who was watching her carefully. "I'll see you tomorrow, Castle."

She cast a quick smile to Martha and made her way towards the door, slipping away before Castle had a chance to call her back.

"What was that all about?" his mother questioned, coming to sit beside him on the couch.

He shook his head slightly, eyes still trained to the door. "It was, um…" He glanced at her. "It was nothing."

"You know you're a terrible liar," she said.

He nodded, looking slightly sheepish. "Yeah, I know."

She was quiet for a minute, her gaze steady and knowing on his face. "You'll tell me when you can?"

He nodded, grateful that she wasn't pushing it. "I always do."

The first chapter. Phew. I can't even tell you how long I've been messing with this. I'm new at writing Castle fics and I wanted to get the characters as accurate as possible. I hope I succeeded, but please tell me if I didn't!