He contorted his body so he could better hold her. She fought him the best she could in her emotional state. She fought with her body; kicking her legs, arching her back. She fought with her voice. She tried pleading "Rick, please." She tried demanding "let me go." He kept his grip tight when she would fight and loosened it when she relaxed. Eventually her fight died down, but he still held onto her. He couldn't hold onto her forever. He knew this as he kept her between his body and the car. When the final shot rang out he had to let her go.

The EMT looked up with pleading eyes. Castle rubbed her shoulder.

"Kate," he said.

She was still holding Montgomery's hand.

Beckett was pliable this time as he removed her from Montgomery. She put her face against his chest and cried. He held her. He rubbed her back gently as they sat on the freezing concrete floor. He couldn't hold onto her forever. He knew this as she eventually let him go. He followed her to her car and watched her drive away.

He held her head with one hand as she lay bleeding. He used his other hand to go between squeezing her shoulder and rubbing her arm. He tried to keep her by pleading "Kate, stay with me, please." He tried demanding "Kate, don't leave me." Even after her eyes shut he wouldn't let go.

The EMT looked up with pleading eyes.

"Richard," Martha said.

He was still holding her even as the paramedics were working on her. He allowed his mother to move him out of the way as she was loaded into the ambulance. He couldn't hold onto her forever. He knew this as he watched the ambulance drive away with her.

His beard was itching him. His stomach was protesting hospital cafeteria food for three days straight. 72 hours and he was still waiting for her to move. She was buried somewhere in those tubes and wires. He only knew she was still with him by rhythmic beeps that would mimic her heartbeat. He sat by her side, holding her hand, talking to her, anything to bring her back with them. He couldn't hold onto her forever. He knew this as he heard his daughter call to him.

"Dad," she said softly.

Just as Montgomery knew that Castle was the only one who could get Kate to leave, everyone knew Alexis would be the only one who could get her dad to leave.

"Come home for a while. Get some sleep. Lanie will tell us if there has been any change."

Castle eventually got up, went home, shaved, ate food that was agreeable and restlessly slept.

He came back though, that same night in fact. He pulled up the uncomfortable chair, held tightly to her hand, talked to her and hoped to feel some sort of movement.

He couldn't hold onto her forever…but damn it he was going try.