A/N: Set a few months after the events of Knockout. If you haven't seen it I wouldn't read this. Unless of course you don't care about spoilers. Anyway... Enjoy.
Disclaimer: Nothing owned by me. The title of the story is taken from the song of the same name by Bush. Worth a listen. Trust me.
Disorientated and dishevelled, Richard Castle paused in the doorway of his bedroom, taking a moment to rub his eyes and wipe away the last remnants of sleep.
He was still exhausted after having spent the past week searching for an elusive killer amongst a tangled web of lies and deceit. Finally, this morning a sudden hole had appeared in some witness statements and the case had eventually drawn to a close. The accused now in a cell, and him being allowed to come home, shed his clothes and crash onto his bed. Slumber taking hold of him far quicker then he had expected.
At least until a loud knocking had disrupted his dreams of a certain policewoman. With a quick glance at the bedside clock, followed sharply by another, longer look, because really, who would be at the door at three thirty in the morning. He had risen from his comfortable position with some reluctance.
Leaning briefly against the doorframe, a loud yawned escaped his lips as he stretched his arms. He was waiting a moment. Sure enough, another knock sounded and he felt his shoulders slump. The confirmation had been made. He hadn't been dreaming and there really was someone at the door.
So with heavy feet he began a slow walk down the hall. His hand groping the wall blindly for the elusive light switch, managing to come across it far quicker then normal. However, he was not fast enough, as his foot suddenly became entangled in the material of the coat he had left laying in a heap by his door.
Careening forward, he crashed to the floor in a heap. His hands barely coming up with enough time to stop his face from meeting the carpet.
"Crap," he muttered, slowly pushing himself to his knees. Wincing as he put too much weight on his left one. He was sure to bruise.
"You okay," a voice called from the upper level.
"Yeah. Fine." His words were short as he brought himself to a standing position. He had been hoping to get to the door before his family woke.
Rubbing a hand over the back of his neck he kicked the coat away, before moving more slowly and a little more cautiously to the door.
"Told you to pick it up."
The voice of concern was closer this time, and he turned to the staircase finding his daughter descending the steps with more grace then him at this time in the morning.
"And I thank you," he replied, fixing her with a raised eyebrow.
"Well I do apologise."
A yawn escaped her as she reached the bottom step.
"Sorry. I was hoping to get the door before you woke."
"It's alright," she replied with a small shrug. "I was awake anyway."
"Really." Moving past her, he ruffled her hair affectionately, ducking as she went to catch him with her hand.
"No. But I was curious."
Another knock caught his answer before it could leave his lips and he moved towards the sound once more.
"Would one of you get the door?"
"Sorry." Father and daughter replied in unison as their gazes turned to the top stair, where Martha was beginning to descend.
Rolling her eyes, she came to a stop beside her granddaughter, linking their arms together. "I keep telling him to get Butler," she said casually.
"And I keep telling you Mother, that's pretentious."
"He would have been there quicker but he was busy familiarising himself with the carpet," Alexis added with a grin.
"The coat," Martha answered, earning a nod from the young girl.
"Anyway," Rick stated loudly, grabbing their attention. Hand resting on the door handle he turned to them with a mischievous look. "Who do we think it is?"
"My money's on Detective Beckett," Alexis stated confidently.
"Of course it is." Her Grandmother added.
"Please." Swinging the door open, he fixed them with shake of his head. "We all know that Beckett is at home i-."
"Hi Kate." His daughter greeted, cutting off his point and making his gaze swing around to the entrance.
The woman in question however seemed completely oblivious to the Castle clan watching her. Arms folded and bottom lip between her teeth she appeared to be utterly distant. Staring vacantly at the floor by his feet.
"Beckett," he repeated. He was instantly worried. Dressed in loose joggers and NYPD hoodie she seemed smaller then normal making him take a hesitant step toward her.
There was something wrong. He hadn't seen her look this lost since the hospital three months ago. She had been so broken when she had come out of the medical induced coma they had placed her in so she could heal. But after spending time in the Castle home, under almost complete supervision she had seemed to return to normal.
Or as normal as she would be.
Of course, her staying here for a few weeks had angered her boyfriend. But really what did he expect when he worked at all hours and kept taking frequent trips to some remote destination. So seeing as Josh couldn't do it, the task had fallen to him.
And he had gladly accepted it.
After all his feelings for her had finally taken it upon themselves to form some kind of coherent structure. Even if they had waited until she was at deaths door. When he had collided with her in the cemetery, the declaration he had never seen himself making had been pulled from him with such brutal force it had then taken him a few hours for the clarity to fall upon him.
The realisation had then shown itself in the waiting room. He loved her. Was in love with her. So while the others had been seated outside her hospital room willing her to survive, he had been seated there willing her to remember.
To remember his words to her. To remember he needed her in the same way he needed air to breath.
But his illusion had been shattered when she had woken. Because either she really didn't remember or she wasn't letting herself admit it. And he had found himself for the second time that day with his heart breaking.
So he had gone home to collect himself. To allow his mother and daughter to see his tears as they had comforted him, because they had heard him. Everyone had heard him. Apart from her. Finally, after a night of mourning the dream he had allowed himself to indulge in within the hospital walls he had pulled himself together. Making the others promise not to say anything about his declaration.
And then he had gone back to her. Smile on his face and heart aching inside. He had offered his spare room. He had helped nurse her back to health. He had stayed beside her on her first day back in the precinct. He had done everything he could to be the best friend she needed.
Still when all was said and done, she had eventually moved back home and gone back to spending her nights with Motorcycle Boy. While he could do nothing but watch.
His daughter's voice broke his train of thought and he blinked a few times as his vision cleared. Remembering the current situation, he looked over at the urging looks from his family, before turning back to the woman in the doorway. "Kate," he whispered, reaching out and placing a hand on her arm.
The effect was instantaneous as she jumped and looked up at him, shaking her head to clear her mind.
"Hey," he said softly. Aware that too much movement from him would probably make her bolt. She really was like a caged animal sometimes. Not that he would ever tell her that. He wasn't stupid, nor suicidal.
"You love me."
The silence that followed her blurted statement was uncomfortable to say the least. Even she appeared to be shocked at her words.
"I..." Trailing off he took a deep breath as he watched her with some confusion. That was definitely unexpected. "What?"
Straightening her shoulders, she lifted a hand slowly before pointing at him. More confidence in her actions this time. "You. Love." Turning her hand, she indicated herself. "Me." Then with a decisive nod, she stepped past him and entered the apartment.
Looking shell-shocked, he ran a hand through his hair as he turned. His eyes meeting the stunned looks of his daughter and mother before finding the woman who held his heart.
Maybe. Just maybe. He had been wrong to right her off so soon.
A/N: There will be another part. Most probably. Would love to know what you think though.