Disclaimer: I don't own the Mentalist or Castle.

Chapter 1

The sensation of sharp grit gouging into her face wrenched Teresa Lisbon from the tranquillity of unconsciousness into the realm of the living. Less than a fraction of a second later, Teresa grit her teeth at the tidal wave of agony that raked across her nerves like broken glass. After the initial surge passed, she drew a shaky breath, nearly choking on the artificial chemical that saturated the air. Keeping her eyes closed, Teresa finally managed to force the desire to retch down and tried to draw on her scattered wits.

Everything hurt. Her ribs felt like they had been smashed with a sledgehammer, her skull squashed like a ripe fruit. Her ears rang with overpowering tinnitus and blinding white spots repeatedly obscured her vision with every leaden blink.

I feel like crap, Teresa thought darkly. Heaving another deep breath into her protesting lungs and grimacing at the acrid taste of chemicals in her mouth, Teresa forced her eyes to focus past the drifting spots and survey the area. Swallowing convulsively, the CBI agent beheld the flaming wreckage surrounding her and her own shredded clothing, noticing the dark spots of blood that slowly spread from numerous shallow wounds. Thankfully none were life threatening, and she gave a relieved sigh that turned into a burning cough that set her lungs and ribs ablaze with pain.

Nearby she spotted the recumbent figure of Patrick Jane half buried by debris, several long lacerations shredding the arms of his expensive three piece suit and exposing raw flesh beneath. Groaning softly, Teresa dragged herself across to him for three torturous metres until she could reach his face. Gently, Teresa slapped the consultant across the cheeks after checking for a pulse.

"Jane," she rasped, wincing at the rawness of her throat. After getting no response, she slapped his face again, this time more roughly. "Jane!" Teresa felt relief wash over her as Patrick slowly blinked one eye open and allowed his head to loll sideways to face her with a wry expression.

"Of all the ways that I imagined waking up to your face, my dear, this is a far poorer substitute," he said. Teresa gave him an exhausted glare at his smart comment.

"Shut up and help me dig you out," she ordered. "I think I've got some cracked ribs, if they're not totally busted."

"It would be a bit stupid to try and dig me out then, wouldn't it? Though you're stubborn enough to do it anyway, aren't you Lisbon?" Patrick replied. Teresa glowered and made no comment, letting her head gently rest against the cracked ground as a bone-deep weariness settled upon her like a lead weight, despite knowing that they needed to move and get out of the destroyed warehouse before something either collapsed upon them or the numerous small fires erupted into a larger conflagration.

"Don't your arms hurt?" she whispered, too tired to do more than keep breathing.

"Can't feel them," Patrick admitted. "I'm not going to look, either. I can remain blissfully ignorant until help gets here instead. Were they bleeding badly?"

"Not really," Teresa said. "You remember what happened? My memory's hazy." Several minutes of silence went by before the consultant replied; pulling her from the semi-conscious stupor she had lapsed into.

"We came in with the NYPD," Patrick said, "as a courtesy, from what I recall. We consulted. There was a fire fight, things got confusing and then the explosion. I forget after that," Patrick admitted.

"The NYPD?" Teresa asked, struggling to stay awake. Understanding her real question, Patrick lolled his head in the other direction to look around.

"I see 'em," he slurred, the edges of his vision tunnelling alarmingly. "Dunno 'f they're okay though." Getting the confirmation she needed, Teresa lost the fight and sank into welcoming darkness. Moments later, Patrick followed, a soft oath whispering from his lips.

Ten feet away, Kate Beckett watched through barely cracked lids, her laboured breaths coming in soft pants. A shadow loomed over her prone form, making her struggle to raise her eyes up until a gentle voice quieted her worries.

"Rest easy, Detective, I've got you."

A soft smile stretched across her bloody lips as she gazed into the piercing blue eyes of Richard Castle, NYPD consultant and bestselling crime novelist, her eyes lazily drifting over his dirt encrusted and bloody features.

"You look like hell, Castle," Kate whispered. Rick gave a carefree smile and shrugged, wincing slightly at some unseen injury beneath his 'Writer' vest.

"Guess after one narrow escape the universe wasn't willing to let me get out of being blown up twice," he joked, referring to their narrow brush with a dirty bomb several months prior. Kate rolled her eyes gently, grimacing when her head protested the action with a spike of pain.

"Get us out of here, Castle," she murmured, rolling her head to rest against his collarbone as he picked her up in a bridal lift. "And thanks."

His reply vibrated through her body in soft, warm tones at odds with the menacing snap of flames in the background. "Always."

Kate allowed the gentle rock of her partner's steps to send her drifting off to sleep, comforted by the knowledge he would do everything in his power to keep her safe.

Author's Note: So here's another new story. Sorry! This one should be interesting though. I have some plans that should keep the momentum going, I hope. I've started tweeting my writing thoughts, so anyone who wants to follow me, my username on Twitter is Lliraeden. Follow if you dare!

The next chapter should be out in a couple of weeks or so. Maybe earlier if I manage to keep it up! As always, feedback is the coin of the realm. The more I get the more I'll want to write! I hope everyone enjoys this one. It's going to be mental!