If you read my fic's, you know I usually only work on one big one at a time. But I simply couldn't resist this one. This first chapter is just a prologue, setting up the story.

This is set three weeks after the season finale. As you can assume, this story contains major spoilers for 3X25.

Synopsis: The only thing that has ever been able to defeat the great Katherine Beckett is grief. Can Castle help save her?

Disclaimer: I don't own Castle.

Without further ado, enjoy. (:


Detective Katherine Beckett's eyes fluttered open to a hospital room. She blinked a few times and looked around.

What happened? She thought.

Previous events came flooding back to her at once.

Montgomery was dead.

He was involved in her mother's case.

He died protecting her.

Someone shot her.

And Castle had told her he loved her as the lights went out.

She took a steadying breath in a vain attempt to stop the room from spinning. Gingerly she put her head in her hands, then winced and sat back up, discovering that bullet wounds did not like to bend.

At that moment, a blonde girl in red scrubs walked in, looking at her pager. "Oh, hello." She said, looking up. "You're awake."

Beckett nodded, still a bit disoriented but coming to terms quickly.

"I'm Dr. Romanzi." She said, shaking Beckett's hand and giving her a warm smile. She picked up her chart and examined it briefly before closing it and looking at Beckett. "Alright. Do you mind if we have a little chat here, Detective?"

Beckett shook her head "no".

"Great." Dr. Romanzi said, pulling a chair up from the side of the room to be next to her bed. "Do you remember anything that happened?"

Beckett nodded again. "Everything." She whispered, her voice hoarse and her throat dry from lack of use.

"Okay, good." Romanzi said, writing something down. "Any pain?"

Beckett gave a short laugh. "Other than the pounding in my head and the growing pain in my chest from my bullet wound I'm golden."

Romanzi smiled at her. "I see your sense of sarcasm is intact…"

"Firmly."

Romanzi stood up. "Follow my finger with your eyes." She instructed.

Beckett did so.

Romanzi wrote something else down, and then shone a light in each of her eyes.

"I feel like I'm being tested for a DUI." Beckett remarked.

She laughed. "Not quite. Let's go with stability of health, hmm?"

Beckett smiled. "Sounds good."

Romanzi sighed and took a seat again. "Detective, there's something that I need to tell you."

Beckett looked at her attentively.

Romanzi took a deep breath. "After you were shot, you lost consciousness. You stayed in that condition until we got you stable, at which time you slipped into a coma from a brain injury obtained when you fell from the podium."

Beckett nodded again, processing the information. "How long have I been out?"

"3 weeks." She told her.

Beckett let out a long breath. "Wow." She said, raising her eyebrows slightly. "Impressive."

Romanzi arched an eyebrow of her own. "You don't seem to surprised."

"Honestly, nothing can surprise me right now." Beckett said sadly.

Romanzi stood up and laid a hand on Beckett's shoulder. "Look, I would give you time to rest so that you can wrap your head around everything, but I think your visitor will be here soon. Although, we could always pretend you're sleeping…"

"My visitor?" Beckett echoed, looking at the doctor quizzically.

"Mmhm." Romanzi said. "Real sweet man. Comes in here everyday and talks to you from the minute visiting hours open to the minute they end."

Beckett's mind drudged up quite a few possibilities, but only one made sense. "Does he have a name?"

"Would you believe that it's Richard Castle? You know, the author? I don't read his books myself, but I still couldn't believe it when he first walked in. Real nice guy."

"Yeah." Beckett agreed. "Real nice." She said, her mind trying to grasp the concept. Castle had told her he loved her, and then had come to see her 21 days in a row while she was in a coma?

Romanzi looked at the doorway. "Speak of the devil. Right on time as always."

Castle beamed at her. "You talking to her now too?" He asked, walking further into the room.

"Yeah, but now she talks back." Romanzi said.

Castle took in Beckett for the first time. "Oh." Was all he could say, his grin growing impossibly wider.

"Hey, Castle." Beckett greeted with a small smile.

"Hey yourself." He said excitedly, sitting down in what was previously the doctor's chair.

"I'll leave you two alone to catch up." Romanzi said, beginning to walk away.

"Thanks for everything, Karen!" Castle called as she walked away.

"Karen?" Beckett asked.

"We've gotten to know each other." Castle supplied.

"Chatting up women over my unconscious body? That's cold, Castle." Beckett quipped.

"Never, my dear detective." Castle replied, looking serious.

Beckett looked at him for a moment. "A little birdie told me that you've been in here everyday."

"That birdie's a reliable witness." Castle said, smiling again.

"Why?"

"Same reason I do everything else." Castle said with a shrug.

Beckett took a deep breath, lapsing into silence again.

Castle waited comfortably, not wanting to push her past her limits. 10 minutes later, he spoke. "Do you want a glass of water or something?"

Beckett looked almost startled, snapping out of a trance. "Um, yeah. That'd be great. But I can get one of the nurses…"

Castle was already standing. "Be right back." He said, walking out.

Beckett sighed. He loved her. And now that she knew that, she could finally see it. The thing was, she had no idea what to do about it.

He returned with a glass of water and handed it to her, giving her a smile that made her stomach do a little flip in spite of herself. "Here you go."

"Thanks, Castle." She said quietly, taking a sip. She set it back on the tray and settled back into her pillows, put at ease by his presence. "So, what do you usually talk to me about while you're here?"

"Everything." He replied. "Alexis, the books, everything that's happened, my day, us. cases that I've read about…that kind of thing."

"Us?"

"You caught that." Castle sighed. "Of course. Should have figured you would."

"You could have not said it." Beckett pointed out.

"That's lying by omission, Kate." Castle said. "Another thing that I would never do."

Beckett opened her mouth then closed it again, unsure of what to say. The world she woke up in didn't feel the same as the one she got shot in. "Thanks, Castle."

Castle tilted his head. "For what?"

Beckett shook her head. "For everything."

"Anytime." He said. "Oh!" Realization crossed his face. "I need to call and tell the others."

"Others?" She asked apprehensively.

"You're quite the popular patient," he said brightly. "Esposito, Ryan, Lanie…even Alexis and my mother." He held up a finger, signaling that he needed a minute and stepped out, pulling out his phone.

A nurse came in and injected some unknown substance into her IV and exited once more, and by the time Castle got back, her eyelids were drooping then snapping back up in an attempt to stay awake.

Castle had to smile. "Tired?" He asked.

Beckett blinked open her eyes again. "No."

"You know, it's okay to go to sleep." He said gently, walking over to her and standing next to her bed.

Beckett's eyes closed again. "We need to talk, Castle." She said quietly.

"Shh." He said, placing a hand on top of her head and running his thumb over her forehead. "There'll be plenty of time for that. Right now, you need to sleep."

"I just woke up from a three week nap." Beckett mumbled, eyes remaining shut.

Castle chuckled. "It's the morphine. It tends to do that."

Beckett nodded, faintly aware of his touch. "Yeah." She said, because at the moment, that made perfect sense.


Don't worry folks, it gets more exciting.

Stay tuned!

And, as always, review(: