Wow. Something totally new and unexpected from me. Apparently, I want to punish myself by starting three different stories, within three different universes. Knockout doesn't exist in Mothers. Surviveruns current to the last aired episode. Now this one. Totally AU, will never ever happen, but ties directly to Knockout.
Perhaps it's because I'm an X-Files fan. Perhaps it's because I believe brains connect differently when unconscious... do things that seem completely impossible.
I've personally woken, twice, in a sweat, to a voice I know. Though I have never physically heard it awake, the same voice has had the same experience with mine while asleep. (And this ends pre-story creepy author note.)
Nothing is right. Sitting beside her, Castle finds himself struggling to breathe. Why had I waited so long? Even with the knowledge that she knew, he can't seem to shake the panic. The finality that their chance is over.
God, if only.
They've all explained it to him. Sometimes it just happens. The brain knows the body has so much to heal that it goes into sleep-mode. Waiting for the signal that things are going to be alright before it perks back up. It's rarely permanent, most patients wake up not knowing the amount of time that's passed.
There is no reason to think she won't come shining through.
But, Castle just keeps thinking.
If only I'd told her that night when I'd begged her to step away.
If only I'd told her the hundred times before, when I wanted to, but the moment just didn't cooperate.
If only she'd let me press my lips to hers again, without the need for cover and rescue.
His life has now come to this. Sitting in the chair beside her bed, pleading with her not to let go as I hold her hand.
"You can't stop kicking my ass now." He tells her with a smile and a squeeze of her hand. Just hoping she knows.
"The baby's kicking me." He complained, rolling over to look at me as I lay curled on my side, distended stomach pressed up against his back, my leg thrown over a pillow and his own thigh in an attempt to get comfortable.
"What do you think he's doing to me?" I ask in response as the baby continues to thump impatiently against my belly. "I can't roll away from him. He's on the inside."
"We both know I can't roll away from you." He teases, knowing that at 34 weeks, I can't find a whole lot of comfortable places to get sleep. He's the only choice. I roll onto my back before rolling ot the side and up out of the bed.
"Sorry Kate." He apologizes, gaze lingering on the strip of stomach that is exposed where my tank top has ridden up and my shorts rolled down.
"It's alright." I huff, pausing at the door, "He's beating on my bladder now like it's a drum set."
"Remind me about that for Christmas in 10 years."
"Hell no." I snap, and head into the bathroom. After a use of the facilities, I stand in the living room, starring out at the city lights and the full moon peeking out from the clouds above. "Now you listen up little man." I tell the baby, rocking my hips back and forth, trying to rock him back to a watery sleep. "This is night time. I know when I lay down you think it's time to party because you stop getting rocked by my footsteps. But your Mama is tired." I smooth my hands over the mound where he lies. I watch in amazement as he stretches and a tiny lump protrudes where he's stuck his foot. I poke him back. "Stop." I tell him, as I always do.
Rick read a blog about a father who taught his baby to kick and nudge on whatever side the parents teased it through. Following this development, it was written that they went so far as to teach the baby not to jab it's mother as hard. He'd become convinced we could train our still nameless baby the same.
But I did my own research. We probably weren't teaching little drummer boy anything. He (and the bloggers baby) was just responding to stimulus. They were merely responding to the poke's location and were calmed from familiar voices.
Standing there, in our living room I'm stunned when Alexis slips in with her key.
"Kate?" She asks in concern as she heads over to us. "Why are you up?"
"Why are you home?" I volley back, knowing she was supposed to spend the night at a friend's house.
"Oh, people were drinking. I hate that." She offered honestly.
"Baby was kicking your father." I smile at her, finally coming back to her question. Her small chuckle springs free.
"And that was a huge problem for him, wasn't it?"
"Thank you!" I confirm, shifting around again in a weird solo slow dance circle. "I think he's finally back to sleep." I murmur. Alexis studies my belly for a minute.
"How can you even breathe with all that?" She asks. I'm well aware of the size I've grown. I constantly have to argue with people it's only one baby, and that I have indeed only gained 14lbs, actually under the average. It's like every spare inch and ounce has relocated on my front. I'm literally to the point if one more person hums in agreement and says 'well he's got nowhere to go with your tiny frame,' I'm going to cold cock them with my service weapon.
"Barely." I comment, stifling a yawn with a hand. "I'm heading back to bed."
"Yeah, bed. Night." She adds, heading up the steps. I'll miss her in a month when she headed out to the West Coast for college.
I'm in the bedroom doorway when a sudden spasm in my left side burns through my stomach. At first I'm paralyzed with fear that I'm going into early labor, before I realize the pain is focused behind both the baby and my uterus.
"Castle!" I gasp in horror. Momentarily stunned I've used anything other than Rick. It's been almost a year since I've used the label outside of work. He's been Rick since we crossed the line into intimacy.
"Kate?" He jerks up from the bed, as I hug the door frame.
"Something is wrong." I sob as he leads me carefully to the edge of the bed. The pain is searing, and cuts through my side clear through my back.
"Is it the baby? Should I call 911?" He hurries. I hold up my hand for him to wait as I take several deep breaths.
The pain seems to recede slowly and the baby is back to pushing and shoving. Rick sits beside me hesitantly, phone in hand.
"Maybe I'm okay." I tell him, "A pulled muscle or something." He face creases with concern as his fingers gently come to rest on my belly. Our son whacks him one.
"You should call the doctor." He offers. I shake my head and rise to my feet and heading towards my side of the bed. As quickly as the burning pain had hit, I find myself feeling fine. Well, as fine as I can with 4 1/2 pounds of kick boxer taking over my body.
"Not tonight, unless something else happens." I offer. He reluctantly nods, and helps me with pillows. I swallow down a lump when his lips whisper against my belly.
"I love you." He tells us both as we fall asleep.
I didn't just start a babyfic... Did I? If you haven't already gathered, this isn't going to be your run of the mill story. I'm not a fan of standard babyfic. It's just a totally different direction post Knockout... and I just couldn't do ANYTHING on either of my other stories until I got this down once the idea hit. Though, I haven't done anything except eat, sleep and dream about Knockout!
Hope the fans I've gathered with my in character stories, hang around for this one. I will do my best to do this AU twist right, and write it well. Also thanks to Detective Apples, for giving me the go ahead to do a pregnant coma/unconscious/AU fic! Check theirs out too, they're running totally different courses.
(PS, you lived through 2 weird Author Note Rambles. Go get a cookie!)