That last shot was enough to pull herself out of Castle's embrace, as he pulled back himself, and get her running back into the hanger. She stumbled when she saw Montgomery, but kept on her feet, kept moving until she was dropping to her knees on the cold concrete floor.
She bent over him, listening closely, and hearing the faint pulse, the short puffs of air. It took a moment to realise that meant he was alive, just, and she pushed down on the gunshot wound in his chest, blood pushing out through her fingers and staining her hands red. She heard castle coming into the hanger, his footsteps echoing again in the dead silence. She leaned down again, but couldn't hear him breathing any more, couldn't feel his pulse.
"No!" She cried, starting chest compressions. "Come on Roy."
Castle's hands came down onto her shoulders but she ignored him, shrugging him off when his grip tightened a little. It wasn't over, wasn't hopeless, despite the amount of blood on her hands, on the floor, he wasn't dead.
He whispered in her ear, hands still on her shoulders, tugging her away from Montgomery now, and she pulled back, fought back, unable to accept it.
Except he wasn't breathing, his heart wasn't beating and she could already feel the blood flow from his wound slowing and stopping. When Castle tugged on her shoulders again, a little harder, she sobbed and let him pull her back, pull her away from the man's body and into his arms.
He was still holding her as the sirens in the distance closed in.
"Come on Kate," Castle said, voice a little strained. "We have to get up now."
The patrol cars, Esposito's car, an ambulance; they were all racing across the tarmac now, almost at the hanger, and Beckett was lying back in his arms, crying for Roy, for her mother, for herself. She didn't move when Castle did, falling towards the floor, the man holding her upright so she didn't hit the concrete. Arms under hers, he hauled her to her feet as the first patrol car came to a stop on the edge of the hanger.
Esposito had put the brakes on when Ryan came jumping out, running past the uniformed officers, and hesitating at the pile of bodies, moving again when he saw Beckett.
"Are you okay?" he asked, in a pant.
She didn't answer, but over her shoulder Castle spoke for them both.
Ryan had seen his body, had ran past him, but was unable to look down at him, and then Esposito was by his side, checking on her even as she stood in Castle's arms.
"I'm okay," she managed to get out, shaking herself out. "We need to talk."
"I'm taking you home," Castle said.
"No, we'll need to talk to the officers, give statements, see Laney," she said, voice catching.
"It can wait," Esposito said. "It can all fucking wait."
Ryan was crying, wasn't hiding it, wasn't stopping it, Beckett wasn't sure he could. Esposito was still angry but he'd do as she said, he agreed no doubt, but couldn't get past the anger.
Kate had managed to calm down a little, enough to act like her usual self, able to instruct them all that this would go no further, because in the end, their Captain was a good man.
Castle...Castle was next to her, and itching to move closer to her. To take her hand or wrap his arms around her again, but he kept still and listened to her, quiet until Esposito dragged Ryan away. He didn't move to leave himself, and she wasn't inclined to tell him to leave. He did move closer then, his hand twitching again, but he didn't reach out, and she looked away again.
"Do you want a drink?" he asked.
Wine maybe, she thought, a lot of wine, but she decided against it.
"No, thank you. I just want to go to bed."
"Oh right," he said. "I'll go, let you-"
"Stay," she said.
"Beckett, you're grieving, we both are, I don't think it's such a good idea."
She smiled, she hadn't expected him to refuse. She had expected him to get the wrong idea, though she supposed just the word 'stay' wasn't very clear about anything.
"Just to sleep, just sleep."
She stood up, and took his hand, pulling him to his feet. He came willingly, letting her lead him into her bedroom without a single word. Inside the dark room she kicked off her shoes, climbed onto the bed, and urged Castle to do the same.
He hesitated though, looking at the empty pace she left for him, glancing back at the bedroom door.
"Get in the bed, or sleep on the sofa, just stay," she said. "Please."
She figured it was the pleading tone that convinced him, because he kicked off his shoes too, and shrugged off his jacket, dropping it onto a chair, before getting onto the bed with her. She smiled and relaxed a little, shifting closer to him. Tentatively he lifted his arm and held it over her, almost moving away until she pulled his hand down over her waist. He was still tense but she felt calm for the first time in months, closing her eyes and falling to sleep.
They sort of talked about it.
Which was an improvement for them, and she realised that Castle would go along with anything she did or didn't say as usual. If she decided to ignore it, like all the other moments of intimacy between them, he would've too. Adding to the list of painfully wonderful memories they pretended never happened but were reminded of with a certain look from him, or a gesture from her.
She couldn't take more of that, and the next morning she had promised him that they would discuss it, discuss everything, after the funeral. She had given him her word and a chaste kiss on the lips, the smile on his face brightening her day, and telling her he believed her.
And then, then there was an impact and agony and Castle was telling her everything. He loved her. He loved her, he loved her, he loved her and then there was nothing.