Quick note: technically, this is meant to be part of the World Series (between Miami and Hamptons) and there are references to both. No spoilers for the show though.

. . . . .

Talking About Scars

The sunroom at Rick's Hamptons mansion – because calling it a house would be like calling Westminster Abbey just a church – is Kate's favourite place to be. She'd known it would be from the second she'd seen it. It's all glass and sun and bright with wicker furniture and overstuffed cushions.

She's spent many an hour just sitting, watching whatever weather pattern wanted to grace them with its presence. Sometimes Rick sits with her. Other times, she would rather enjoy the solitude.

It's been a difficult couple of months.

It's funny though, because for once in her life, when it comes to her own well-being, she really and truly does know best. That's not to say that she can't take care of herself, just that she's usually much more accepting of when Rick pretends he knows what she needs better than she does. Of course, there are times he does, and they are fairly frequent, but when it comes to recovery from injury, especially gunshot wounds, Kate does know how far she can push herself.

It's not the first time she's been shot.

Naturally, it's the first time she's been shot by a crazy fan hell-bent on making 'forever' with her man, but it's not the first time she's had lead tear through flesh. Hell, a few of the injuries she's endured have been more fatal. To Kate, this feels a bit like a flesh wound. She knows it's not – she's not stupid, thanks – but she knows how far she can push herself. So does her physiotherapist, now that Kate's set the woman straight. Alice had tried to tell her to slow down at first, but Kate had set her straight.

And Rick had ripped into her.

It wasn't their first fight, and Kate knew it wouldn't, by far, be their last. But it had been one of the meanest. She knew he meant well and more importantly she knew he felt more than somewhat responsible, but Kate had, with a calm she hadn't been aware she was capable of when dealing with an unreasonable Rick Castle, explained that this wasn't his fault, it wasn't her fault, and he needed to trust that this was one area she was familiar with.

Otherwise, and with the exception of the first two weeks when he got pouty at the idea of her feeding herself, let alone doing much else, they'd managed to find even ground. It helped that Kate loved the sun room, that she loved just sitting there, doing nothing. She knew it warmed him, knew that he loved seeing her in his space and knew that it made him feel better about leaving her alone when he was reasonably sure she wasn't going to be doing much more than watching the wind blow at the ocean.

And that's where she is now, watching a storm roll in.

It's where he finds her after too many hours in the library. Despite the terrible nature of her shooting, she knows he's got ideas churning in his head faster than she could blink. She trusts that he knows which parts are personal and which parts he can use. More importantly, if he's writing, he's not hovering. He's not driving her to drink.

She smiles gently when she feels lips against her hair. His hand drifts down to land on her arm, folded across her lap.

"It's going to be a nasty one," he murmurs.

Lightening flashes across the sky and Kate can't help the smile that curves her lips. She's always loved thunderstorms and with the sheer amount of glass, the sunroom is one of those places where she can enjoy it without fear. She hums her agreement to his statement, almost purring as his hand weaves through the honeyed strands of her hair. She's only half surprised when he uses the grip to tilt back her hair, but she's totally surprised by the desperation she feels in his kiss.

"Rick," she mumbles. When he gets like this, the fear in his eyes, she feels terrible, broken and ripped open. Because she's still trying to put herself back together physically, the emotional strain on her is more than uncomfortable.

But he's insistent, like he always is, and meets her mouth again with the same emotions racing through the kiss. There's a part of her that wants to fight back, wants to make it something else entirely, but he's holding her hair tight enough to keep her in place. She's immobile and while she knows she should be afraid, she trusts him.


The storm is rolling in now, the rain pattering against the glass violently. Kate hears it, revels in it, and lets herself go. The emotions and feelings of the kiss race through her nervous system, setting her skin on fire as she wraps an arm around his back. He's still standing, so it's more than awkward and he breaks apart with dark eyes. She knows he's been thinking about what could have happened.

So when he pushes her thighs apart to settle between them she doesn't resist.

The loose t-shirt she wears is over her head in a flash and she expects him to latch onto a breast through her bra. He's done it before when he's like this, and their couplings have always been satisfying, but fast. This time, quite obviously, something is different. Because the minute the shirt is over her head, he slows down completely.

First his fingers drop to the scar along her stomach. Sixty-five stitches, she'd once told him, all because her father had pushed her with just a little too much force. Broken alcohol bottle and terrified father had gone with her to the ER. She'd told him that story in California.

"Your dad," he says, without judgment, pressing butterfly kisses along the scar.

She sucks in a slow breath of air as his fingers trail up her torso, feather light fingers brushing over and around the puckered skin of her newly acquired scar. She runs a hand through his hair in both encouragement and sympathy.


"Not you," she corrects, taking his hand and lying it right on top of the scar. Just an inch to the right of his hand is her heart, still beating strong and sure. "Not you."

His fingers trail away after a moment, over her shoulder and down her left arm. He stops at a scar that runs about two and a half inches down her forearm.

"Delusional druggie," she says, getting a hang of the game. He's asking her about her scars, about her injuries. She slides her hands beneath his t-shirt and pulls it off as she says, "We were raiding a drug house. He had a knife. I tossed him over my shoulder a split second too late and his blade got me."

Rick's hand continues it's downward journey, even as he presses his lips to the scar when she uses her other arm to drop his shirt to the floor. Kate shivers. He picks up her hand and kisses each finger and she smiles when he kisses her palm. He jumps to her other hand, giving it the same treatment, this time brushing his lips over a scar on her palm. She rolls her eyes in self-deprecation.

"Cutting a pear, if you can believe it," she says and sees the laughter light in his eyes. She likes it better than the sadness of a moment before. "The knife slipped. I developed anxiety issues after my mom died-" She pauses to swallow because her emotions are already haywire. "And something spooked me. I dropped the knife and, stupidly, tried to catch it by the blade. Add to that I picked at the scab when I was nervous…"

He laughs and kisses her, trailing his fingers back up her arm to her shoulder. She shivers violently when he hits her neck – it's one of her more erogenous zones – as he feathers kisses up her cheek. There's another scar just above her right eyebrow and she laughs again when he brushes his lips over it. Her hands are wrapped around his back, scratching lightly. She feels the bulge against her cotton shorts and revels in the feel of him.

"Soccer," she answers finally. "Rec league. Another girl on my team jumped to head the ball when I did. I got six stitches, she walked a way with an egg on her forehead."

Rick chuckles again, this time using his lips to trail down her neck. She arches her back when his hands slide beneath her ass. She sighs as his hands unclasp her bra and allows him to pull away long enough to slide the garment off. Her hands return to his neck, pulling him down for a hot kiss, hoping to get him to leave his game, for now. He lulls her into a false sense of success when he releases her mouth and latches onto her bare breast. She moans as his mouth and tongue work their magic and he has to soften the caress when she starts to really lose herself. He can't keep her from moving too much and precariously balance himself against her at the same time.

He brushes his lips and his tongue across her breast to the bone between, following it down and under the opposite side. He pauses there, seeing, up close for the first time a spot of pockmarks and faded round scars.

"Chicken pox," she tells him, bringing his face back up for a kiss. She's not sure how much longer she can stand this teasing, this delicate brush against her skin. His mouth slides down her stomach, over her hip as the thunder, lightening and rain continues above them. Her shorts and panties go the way of his hands, sliding off her feet to the floor. She sees his face in the glimpses of light and the want throbs long, hot and low in her veins.

No arch of her body will make him stop, no insistent tug on his hair. He trails down her thigh finding scars on either side – a snapped femur from a motorcycle accident when she'd just gotten her license for it – and skips across to find the scar on her opposite shin – bullet hole, a mistake of a poor rookie the year before Rick started shadowing her. Eventually, he picks up her foot, studies it, and brushes his finger over a scar at the bottom.

"That one's actually funny," she murmurs through her arousal. His hand is stroking her ankle now, and being all manner of distracting, but Kate forces herself to focus. "I was playing in a lake in Canada. Mom and Dad had decided we needed to vacation somewhere far away. I can't, for the life of me, remember why. I was playing in the lake and I stepped on a nail." She pauses in her story to gasp when his fingers make their way back up her leg, drifting over the bullet hold in her shin, fingers skating into her thigh where there are the markers of the plate that held her femur together. She forces herself to swallow and finish the story. "The nail went straight through my foot. Didn't hit nerve, bone, or blood vessel. Just… straight through. I couldn't lift my foot. I couldn't run to my parents. Turns out the nail was in a board submerged in the sand."

She has to stop when his fingers brush over her folds, feather light and more than distracting. She bites her lip, hard, and sucks in breath to try and center herself. "My parents rushed me to the hospital, board and all. I screamed bloody murder when they removed it. Had to – Oh God!"

He's managed to slide two fingers into her and she arches against the cushions.

"Had to what?" he asks her his voice deep and husky with arousal.

"Tetanus," she gasps and moans when his thumb finds her. "Rusty nail. Had to – Jesus! – get a tetanus shot."

He hums against the lips he's plastered to her thigh, watching her carefully. When she starts to buck, he deliberately places his other hand on her stomach, holding her down and as close to immobile as he can. They've been given doctor's permission, but he knows he has to be gentle. Pushing herself in physiotherapy is different than breaking open the wound in bed.

Or, he amends, on a wicker couch.

"Rick," she breathes out, almost on a sob. "Rick, please…"

He plays for a little while longer, teasing her and holding her on the edge of pleasure. Then he fixes his mouth to her, and she's flying within moments. He's naked, and she's on his lap by the time she floats down. She knows his scars already because he's not shy about sharing when she finds them. Hell, she's never had to ask. She's never really thought to. But she knows he has a scar on his eyebrow from whacking his head on the stage at one of his mother's productions. She knows he shattered the joint in his elbow skiing. She knows about the tree branch that attempted to take out his liver, and about the scar from his appendectomy.

But more importantly, she knows that talking about the physical scars is just a formality. They've seen a lot of each other's emotional ones, and she knows for a fact he's seen her worst. It doesn't scare her or concern her that she may not have seen his. He unfolds like his own onion and despite sometimes wondering to the contrary, she knows she has forever to figure it out. She knows they have a forever to look forward to.

He slides into her and they both sigh in contentment. There is nothing, to either of them, like that feeling. It's intimacy and coming home rolled into pleasurable friction and Kate finds herself wriggling against his restraining hold.

"You can't," he tells her, kissing her ear, her neck, her shoulder. "You can't."

She releases a disgruntled sound and tries again to move. With a tortured groan he gives in, holding her hips in place as he begins a slow, gentle slide in and out. Kate throws her head back then jerks it forward at the lance of pain. It fades quickly, however, because he's pressing against her so perfectly and doing most of the work to boot. So she lets him, gasping and moaning as he hits all of the right spots inside her body. Her orgasm hits seconds before his and he has the presence of mind to wrap her against him tightly before letting himself go.

He holds her there as they both calm down, and she's sure he's just doing it to feel the solid beat of her heart against his own. He's been clingy, keeping close, touchy since her release from the Miami hospital. She's just in the mood to indulge him.

"It's still raining," he whispers after a few moments. He doesn't release her, still holds her tightly, breathing her in. She feels alive and whole in his arms.

She sighs and, if anything, cuddles closer. "I love thunderstorms."

He pulls back enough to kiss her, then cups the back of her head. "I know."

And they both know he means something else entirely.

He knows her.

She knows him.

That's the way it's supposed to be.

That's the way it is.

I have no idea where this came from, just so you guys know. None. So I feel weird about it. As in I don't know how I feel about it.

If you're confused, it's because it's a World'verse piece. For the first time, you would have had to have read Miami and/or California for this to make sense. Or at least be slightly familiar with the plots. Kind of. Mostly. I think.

And some of the stories are real. The soccer scar? My brother. He claims he knows when Voldemort is near. The nail in the board? My aunt. One of my favourite injury stories to hear.

Will you review? Pretty please?