The fight was getting ugly, fast. Kate shouted, "I've been running around with the school's funniest kid, & it's not enough!" It didn't derail Castle as she'd hoped.

Instead, he fired back, "Then what is? What do you want? Tell me what is enough! Tell me what we are!"

She froze, stunned, unsure how to answer. "Dammit, Castle, I don't have time for this crap right now." He seethed.

He tried to not lose control, and his voice came as a barely controlled growl. "Why not now. You're holed up in here, answering the door with a gun in your hand... because you know I'm right. They are coming for you. You know it. How many times have you told me to back off, and I didn't, and I saved your ass? How many times, Kate? Am I joke to you? Was I a joke when I warned you in time for you to jump in your tub & not get blown up? What about when I brought you out of your burning apartment? Or when I shot Dunn before he shot you? Or when Lockwood had a bead on your head & I saved you from him, too? Or when I pulled the wires on that bomb? How does any of that make me the freakin' class clown! When will it be enough!"

Castle was nearly shouting. He took a few breaths to calm himself before continuing. "How many times, Kate, do I have to save you before you see that you need me - that I am good enough for you? What else do I have to do to prove myself to you?" He reigned himself in while she stood, rattled and shaken. He stepped toward her and spoke again, this time calmly, letting the anguish and concern that consumed him show through his body & his words. "And what are you going to do, Kate, when they get off a shot before I can step in & save you? What am I going to do? ... Do you even care about that?"

She had no response. There were so many things running through her head she couldn't make sense of any of it. Of course she cared, and she knew he was right, but it didn't change her resolve. She was in too deep. He could help, or he could get out of her way. She knew she needed him, but she wanted to tell him to go away. She saw him studying her face, trying to read her mind. And she had no idea what her face was telling him just then.

He saw hurt, brokenness, anger, resolve. He knew he hadn't made a difference in her decision to chase this thing. He closed his eyes & exhaled deeply. He silently walked over to her windows and shut the blinds. It was stupid to have a line of sight available to any sniper who wanted her dead. He turned & headed for the door, saying, "Lock it up tight, Kate." He slammed the door behind him.

She crumpled on the couch, burying her face in her hands. She began to cry, but got pissed that he'd made her want to cry and made herself stop. She began to pace the room, fists clenched. She poured a double shot of tequila and threw it back. Her eyes stung, but she refused to let a tear fall because of Castle. All because of Castle. War raged inside her head. This... this was why she pushed him away. No one else could command such strong emotion from her. Anyone else... anyone else she could have answered when they asked what she wanted or what was enough. Everyone else... everyone had a definition & boundary. She knew what she wanted as well as where her limits were with her father, her friends, even Josh. But Castle... she couldn't put into words what she wanted or what they were because there was no limit.

He knew her better than anyone else did, which made her vulnerable to him. She couldn't handle vulnerable. Just the thought made her angrier. She threw her glass against the wall, screaming, "Damn you, Castle!" as the glass burst into a thousand pieces.

Then she lost it. She didn't care anymore, though. No one could see. It didn't matter if she cried alone in the privacy of her apartment. She gave in and let sobs wrack her body. Vulnerable. God, she hated that word. She knew that was exactly what she was, though. Vulnerable in the situation with Lockwood, and vulnerable with Castle. She wanted & needed him so completely that she resented him for it. That thought crystallized in her mind, and she shook her head at the absurdity.

You are so screwed up, she thought; you resent him because you love him. She fell onto her bed, tried (and failed) to calm down, and punched the pillow as hard as she could.