This is the companion piece to Beautiful, which is in Rick's POV. Kate does some serious thinking about her scar. This was written this afternoon in a shockingly quick time so please don't mind any typos. Fell free to let me know if you see them though. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own Castle or the characters.
I was finally alone for a few moments and I knew exactly what I wanted, no needed, to do. I eased my legs over the side of the hospital bed that I had barely left for the past week. I knew that I should probably have help walking to the bathroom but I didn't want anyone to stop me from doing what I planned. I untied the straps of the hospital gown and let it fall to my feet. I stood in front of the mirror and looking at the large bandage on my torso, I took a deep breath. I pulled off the bandage. I didn't look down, just stared into the mirror at the angry red wound. The doctors were pleased at how well I was healing and said everything was looking great. Obviously, they were only talking about the healing and not how it actually looked. I thought it looked hideous.
It will heal and not be red someday but it will always be ugly. Sure, I have some other scars but this one will always be very obvious. I knew that I shouldn't be so vain, I should just be happy to be alive. I was, but part of me was always going to worry about the scar and what other people would think about. I picked up my robe and slipped it on knowing that I'll need to just take off a gown if I put one on when the nurse comes to replace the bandage. I let the robe cover my breasts but I still looked at the wound. I have never been one to cry in front of others so with my privacy I finally was able to release my tears. I don't know how long I stood there crying quietly, as was my way.
Suddenly the bathroom door pushed open and Castle walked in behind me. I quickly gathered the robe together, thankful that I had picked it up. I wiped my eyes and hoping that my voice wouldn't crack, I spoke.
"What are you doing here, Castle?" I was not sure how long he was standing outside the door and how much he had seen but I still wasn't pleased with him.
"Dropping off more flowers and stuff for you. I couldn't find you and got a bit worried," he said clearly concerned.
"Castle, I'm a big girl, I can take care of myself. Besides, it's not like I can go anywhere." I met his concerned eyes in the mirror and my tears turned to annoyance at his over protectiveness.
"I know but I still worry," he said as he moved closer to me.
I startled a bit, causing us to bump together in the close quarters of the bathroom. His left hand went to my hip and held me as he reached for a tissue then handed it to me. I took the tissue then surprised myself by not moving away from his touch. I dried my tears then wiped my nose, I really didn't want to blow my nose in front of him. I tugged my robe tighter and was about to ask him to back away when he gently called my name. His eyes were on mine and I didn't realize what he was doing until I felt a tug on the belt on my robe.
"Castle, what are you doing?" I asked shocked and not wanting him to see the ugly scar.
"Shhh, you are beautiful, Kate," he said as he lightly pulled the robe apart to show just my wound.
"Castle," I said with great annoyance thinking about grabbing his nose, hard. "I really don't think-"
"No," he said sharply before his voice went gentle again. "You are beautiful."
I couldn't say anything to that. I just kept looking into his eyes, which surprisingly had never left mine.
"This," he indicated my wound with one hand, his eyes still on mine. "This doesn't change that."
"Castle," I said as my eyes dropped no longer able to meet his gaze. He tugged me a bit closer to him, my back against his strong chest and my robe fell open now showing my plain white panties. I raised my hands to cover my wound when I noticed his eyes were still searching out mine. I was shocked that he wasn't trying to see as much as he could but part of me trusted that he wouldn't take advantage of the situation like that.
"Do you know what I think is the most beautiful thing about you?" he asked tenderly with his face next to mine in the mirror.
"No," I said but I knew that he was thinking about my now grotesquely marked body.
"Guess," he said. I was unable to contain the eye roll that he deserved.
"My body," I whispered as I turned from his blue eyes and tried to pull my robe back together. He didn't let me do either.
"Wrong. It's your heart," he whispered as he tenderly placed his right hand over my heart. "Your mind, just you. Your body doesn't make you beautiful; you make your body beautiful."
My eyes welled with more tears at his words. I lowered my hands, silently giving him permission to look. He waited a moment before his eyes dropped. He looked at my ugly scar but his eyes were soon back to mine. It really didn't seem to matter to him and that surprised me. I knew then that he truly meant the words that he whispered just after I was shot. I wasn't ready to let him know that I had heard him yet but I would soon.
"It really doesn't matter what you look like, Kate."
"Even if I get fat?" I tried to joke.
"Even then," he said with something different flickering in his eyes.
I have gotten pretty good in the last nearly 3 years reading his expressions but I wondered what that one meant. Realizing that laughter was called for, I joked again.
"You know you'll never get to see me in a bikini now."
"No fair!" he pouted as he gave me a gentle squeeze. "You know I don't care about the scar, right?" he said clearly no longer joking.
"You might not but I do," I admitted quietly, embarrassed more to be admitting my vanity that to be standing in front of him with my robe open as it still was. I moved to close it and he let me this time, he even tied the belt for me before leaving him hands on my hips.
"You do realize that I take that as a challenge," he said with a slight smile.
"A challenge?" I asked not sure what he was talking about.
"Yeah, I'm going to consider it my job to make you not think or worry about any scars."
"That might take a long time, Rick," I said. I watched him swallow as I called him by name then I turned to look at him, his arms still loosely around me. "Are you up to that challenge?" So many emotions flew through his eyes, hope, excitement, and even love before he pulled me just a bit closer then answered with just one word.