Title: To Cry and Eye in N.Y.
Summary: Kate talks about just how close she got to shooting Royce's killer. Post-"To Live and Die in L.A."
Disclaimer: I own nothing. All rights for the characters and the world go to their owners. I, in no way, believe – or would lead others to believe – that I own Castle. Though, I would have no objections to having some time with this cast.
Author's Note: I wanted Kate to answer Rick's question about how close she got. This is my result. Tell me what you think.
(1/1) TO CRY AND EYE IN N.Y.
Castle never did travel lightly. His simple, black rolling suitcase nearly popped open as he hauled it off of the luggage carousel at the airport. He stumbled back slightly, his black jacket billowing with the sudden pick up of wind. As he steadied himself, he looked over to where he had left Kate. She never packed lightly either, in a metaphoric sense.
Kate's eyelids hung low, giving off the illusion of a wary, tired traveler. Her arms were calm yet crossed just under her chest. Her physical baggage hung at her side from the crook of her right elbow. She would never admit it, but she was picturing the moment from the day before.
Ganz had smirked at her from the ground, with his eyes a mixture of fear, resignation, and an odd knowing look. Many people in Kate's life had given her that look. Castle gave it to her normally. The look said: I read you like an open book and nothing you do or say can change what I'm sure of about you.
Ganz faded to the top of edges of her vision as Castle took front and center. In his eyes, she saw concern. Another normal look from him. She wanted to shrug it off or just walk away. More than that, she wanted to see the understanding in his gaze and just have that connection they seemed to have so often.
"I was really close, Castle. But I wasn't sure if the disappointment would trump the small victory," she said.
New look: writer. Castle always scrunched his eyebrows slightly when he was trying to figure out something she had said or done. The result of which somehow wound up in the pages of some Heat novel draft later in the week. No doubt he was piecing together some answer in his mind that didn't really fit. Soon he would ask-
"Disappointment from who? Montgomery? Royce? You?"
Kate blinked in his answer, taking in his suggestions. They were all right in a way. Montgomery would certainly never be happy. Royce would have hated for her to go down that path. She would have hated herself eventually for taking an unnecessary kill. But none of the above stalled her finger on the trigger as the barrel pointed down at Ganz.
"No," she said. Castle pitched forward a bit, obviously waiting for her to say who. Should she? It would be a big step in not fighting whatever it was going on between them. Opening up and admitting that his approval meant a lot to her. She shook the thought from her head. It wasn't the time. Besides, she'd already chosen where she was going with this.
She went on. "I could have killed him. Pulling the trigger is kind of like breathing sometimes. Reflexive, especially when some creep who deserves it is right there. It wouldn't have felt like shooting Coonan. I wouldn't cry about it. I almost did it, Castle. I really did."
She watched as he soaked it in. The gears in his mind shifted and clicked into many a response until he seemed to deem one appropriate.
"But you didn't," he said.
"I almost wish I had."
Kate brought herself fully upright and uncrossed her arms. Her fingers gripped the handle of her bag tightly. At least something could feel the tension in her body. It was time to go. Back into the city. Back to the precinct. Back to her normal life. Without Royce.
Her bottom lip trembled as her eyes filled and her nostrils expanded. The next look in Castle's eyes was purely instinctive much like his actions. He stepped forward, hands falling onto her shoulders. His ears heard not the clack of his bag's handle hitting the ground. Instead, they heard the infinitesimal sob that slipped through Kate's parted lips. She heard the sob as well. It didn't sound like it was coming from her. It felt far away just like the image of Ganz in her mind. Everything felt far away.
"Hey, Kate, come on. Look at me. Look at me," stressed Castle. She couldn't find the strength to do anything else.
Disciplinary. Scolding. He was going to scold her. Looked like she had gotten his disapproval anyway. Almost tipped a bit closer to definitely.
She tried to shrug off his hands, but he held firm. Both to her physically and to her gaze.
He said, "Not shooting him was the right choice. I'm proud of you, Kate. Everything that happened this week - the recovered bullets, the captured criminals, the very alive L.A. actress who now gets to explain all of this to her agent - well, that's because of you. Royce would be proud too. I bet he is, wherever he is right now."
It occurred to her that Royce would be more proud of this moment than her near vengeance. The thought both energized and exhausted her. Kate blamed the latter for her crumpling into Rick's hold. He wrapped his arms around her. She buried her chin into the crook of his neck while her hands went to clasp behind his back. She breathed in the scent of him. It was no different, even after the days in L.A. Maybe she would be the same. One rogue weekend didn't mean she had to be a different person. Even if it did add a rolling dufflebag to the luggage cart constantly tailing her.
For smelling like normal, for never changing, for being there no matter how many times she told him to go.
I'd love to hear what you think. Any words of encouragement or critique, Detective?