A/N: So this is a differant take on the end of Knockout that I thought of while I was on holiday. Anyone reading my other story I've almost finished the chapter, I just hit a bit of a wall. I'm very sorry about the slow update though but hopefully this makes up for it. It will likely have a few chapters because I have a loose plot in my head, so here's hoping. Enjoy!

Oh and just a little heads up, I'm English so my spelling might be a bit differant. Sorry.

Disclaimer: Nothing owned by me. The title of the story is a song by Lifehouse.

oh, come with me, forever my love
under the darkening sky
come hide with me
i'll save you my love
hear me, i beg for your life

oh my love, stay my love.

Darkening sky ~ Peter Bradley Adams

After three years of following in her footsteps... Watching, waiting, and hoping, it's safe to say that he knows her.

Knows that she never wants saving and feels like she doesn't need it. Doesn't deserve it, because she is strong and independent, resilient to the core. At first it was something he admired about her, it was what drew him in, but over time he's come to realise it's her main fault. Everybody on this planet sometimes needs to have somebody there. Even her.

So as he cries her name and throws himself in front of her, shielding her body with his own, he cannot bring himself to care what she wants or thinks she needs, because it's not about her. Not really.

This is his moment. His final stand.

It's his sacrifice and shows how given the chance, he will always save her. The reason for this he knows, but doesn't think she is ready to hear. Although after seeing her reaction to their argument earlier in the week he cannot help but wonder if maybe she was getting there.

That maybe if they had, had more time she would have eventually given into him. Eventually loved him. But there hadn't been enough time. Not for him, not anymore.

It's the thing he regrets more then anything, but as the bullet meant for her rips through him with a burning hunger to destroy everything that makes him Richard Castle his regrets are lost and his thoughts scatter leaving him with only the one.

That he saved her.

Finally. After years of watching her fall and helplessly trying to catch her he managed to do it right. He saved the woman he loved. And if the cost of that is his own breaths, his own life, then so be it.

Because to him she's extraordinary and he is... was... completely and utterly captivated.

He only wishes his family hadn't been there to witness his destruction.


Her back collided with the ground as a heavy weight fell on top of her, taking the air from her lungs and causing a burning pain to spread up her throat as she let out a loud cough, desperately taking in the oxygen she had lost.

What the hell had happened? One minute she's looking over at Castle and the next... He had called her name, shouted it more like. She'd heard the terror in his voice and had imediately tensed, but then...

Opening her eyes she winced as her limbs protested against the awkward position they found themselves in, but she had to know who was lying on top of her. Even though she already had an idea. It was always him, so she shouldn't be surprised if her instinct was right.

Lifting her head from what felt like the persons hand she was met with a mop of brown hair, frowning when she noticed his black suit.

"Castle," she mumbled, struggling for a few seconds to pull her arms out from under him. Finally managing to succeed in the task she became concerned as she noted his lack of awareness. Had he hit his head?

"Castle. Get off." She pushed his shoulders and rolled herself to the side, silently thanking whoever was listening when she managed to get him onto the grass beside her.

Free from his weight she calmed her heavy breathing down. He really had managed to knock the air from her lungs. However when she went to sit up she let out a cry as she put too much weight on her left hand. She must have caught her wrist when they had landed.

"Why'd you jump me Castle?" She asked pointedly, the pain in her wrist causing her mood to darken. But before she could notice the lack of answer from her companion, she caught a glimpse of the stain on her chest. Curious, she pressed her good hand to the mark and watched horrified as her white glove came away drenched in red liquid. "Blood." Her throat closed as she pressed more heavily on her chest, checking for injuries. Met with nothing she pulled away as realisation dawned. "Oh God."

The evidence was pointing at only one possible conclusion and it was making her feel sick.

"Castle," she choked out, whipping her head to the side and coming up onto her knees so she could check him over. Noticing the ever-darkening mark on his jacket she pressed down on his chest where she found a small tear in the material. She had to stop the blood.

"Man down," she cried, looking over at the horrified onlookers and willing them to do something... anything, to save him. Then she spotted her friend being held down by a protective Esposito. "Lanie." Turning her attention back to the man before her, she leaned closer as she noted his open eyes. "Stay with me okay Castle. You're gonna be fine. Just... stay with me."

Movement to her side had her attention drawn away from him as she saw the medical examiner on the other side him.

"We need an ambulance." Lanie shouted, taking Esposito's jacket and placing it over the wound where she had shifted Kate's hands away.

"Four minutes," Ryan answered from beside her where his cell phone was glued to his ear.

Whipping her gaze up to look at him and Esposito, Kate began to shake her head. "It's too long. He needs someone now. Lanie," she finished moving her attention back to her friend as her voice became desperate.

"How's his pulse?" Lanie asked.

Shaking, Kate swallowed hard as she hesitantly moved her hand to his neck and pressed her fingers down on his skin. "It's weakening," she managed. No longer caring about the witnesses she shifted her body closer to his head and looked at him. "Stay with me please," she whispered.

His head tilted back as his mouth fell open. Running her hand through his hair, she placed her other on his cheek and forced him to look at her.

"A... Ale..." he tried, before his voice gave out.

She knew what he wanted and she felt her heart break and her chest burn. "A promise is a promise," she said, her voice breaking as a sob tore itself from her throat. Looking down she noticed his hand laying on the ground beside her, so removing the one from his cheek she wrapped her fingers tightly around his own. "You promised me you wouldn't leave. Remember. Please Rick just... you have to stay."

His head began to loll backwards slightly and his eyes slowly slid closed as she watched helplessly, unable to do anything to stop it. Panicking, she moved her hand from his hair and laid it on his cheek, willing his eyes to stay open. "We're not over Rick. We can't be... Please. I don't want you to go."

She pleaded and she begged, but still it wasn't enough, and as his eyes completely shut she broke down. Her tears fell heavily now as she collapsed forward, her forehead meeting his chin and her cries breaking the sudden silence that had enveloped them.

"You can't leave me."

A/N: Would love to know what you think.