A/N: First, I am so so incredibly sorry that I made you guys wait so long for an update on this. A lot has happened in my life in the past few months and I don't really remember what exactly happened that made me give up on this for a while, but I know that something did and then I had the most serious case of writer's block. Thank you so much for all your beautiful, encouraging messages that I still get til this day, even if I haven't updated this story in months. Tonight I didn't have anything to do and I started re-reading my old stories and I found myself missing this universe like crazy. I'm still not sure where it's going or how often I'm going to update, but it's here and I'm more than willing to work on it for real again.
Thank you so much for sticking with me and not giving up on this story. It means more to me than you guys will ever know.
Disclaimer: Castle is obviously not mine.
Someone Like You
The ride to the loft was quiet, only interrupted by Tyler's voice from time to time. Kate had been released from the hospital with the recommendation of wearing a cast for eight weeks and then another eight weeks of physical therapy, at the very least. It was a very dismal prospect for the near future if you asked her, but right now she was just grateful to be alive and somewhat well to go home to her family.
The pain in her arm was dulled by the really good pain medication the doctor had prescribed, but it made her head fuzzy and she felt like she was on the verge of falling asleep all the time. It didn't matter, though. She wasn't planning on staying on them for long. She would take the prescribed dose for a few days, but after that, she would just try to grit her teeth and push through the pain. She didn't want to spend the next eight weeks in a foggy haze in which she would most likely not remember anything.
The driver parked outside of Rick's building and he got out of the car and reached back to help her get on her feet on the sidewalk. When she finally stood outside of the car, her world spun violently and she had to hold onto Rick with her good arm in order not to fall on her face, especially in front of her kid.
"Okay there, mom?" Tyler asked, concerned hazel eyes looking up at her.
"Just got a little dizzy for a second, sweetie. I'm fine now." She reassured him, her head still spinning a little. "Why don't you get the door for me?" She suggested with a small smile, trying to get him to focus on something else. He looked at her, uncertainty shining in his eyes, but Rick nodded at him encouragingly.
"Alright." The boy nodded and took off to the building's entrance, opening the glass door with both arms before the doorman could get to it.
"You okay?" Rick asked softly and she turned to him, finding the same concerned gaze her son had been directing at her just a moment before.
"I think I just stood up too fast, that's all. And the pain meds." She mumbled, allowing herself to lean against him when he started walking towards his building.
"Easy, love." He murmured in her ear when she reached out to get the elevator door a couple of minutes later. "We got it."
"Sorry. Habit." She shook her head, biting her lip in frustration at the stupid fogginess that wouldn't leave her mind and made everything look like it was in slow motion.
"Your dad is making us lunch." Rick told her when they were riding to the sixth floor. "You hungry?"
"Not really." She answered, before her mind could censor the honest answer. "But I'll eat a little later."
She offered a small smile, trying to reassure him that she was fine. It was driving her crazy that he kept looking at her like she was about to disintegrate right before his eyes at any second. She understood, of course, but it still got on her nerves. And they had only left the hospital twenty minutes ago. How she was supposed to endure him hanging around her as if she was made of glass for the next two months was completely beyond her comprehension at that moment.
He guided her slowly to his door when they stepped out of the elevator as Tyler ran ahead excitedly, throwing the door open and rushing inside the loft like he owned the place. Kate smiled at his antics and let Rick help her to the couch. Her father called out to them, saying he would come say hello in a moment and that lunch was almost ready. Just the thought of food right now made her stomach roll unpleasantly. Closing her eyes, she leaned her head back against the couch and tried to focus on her breathing, willing her head to stop spinning and her stomach to stop wanting to return its contents.
"Hey, honey." She heard her dad's voice and opened her eyes to find him drying his hands on a dishcloth, before throwing it on his shoulder. "How are you feeling?" He asked quietly, leaning down to kiss her forehead, mindful of the bandage that still covered part of it.
"I'm fine, dad." She gave him a small smile. "Glad you're here." She squeezed his hand when he smiled.
"Hope you're hungry. I'm making your favorite." He winked at her and she finally let out a genuine laugh.
"Mom's special chicken casserole? Really?"
"Let's hope it's not a disaster." He laughed with her and started to make his way to the kitchen. "Welcome home, Katie." He called over his shoulder with a smile and Kate finally started to feel better.
Her head was a little clearer and her stomach had stopped rebelling against her. And the smell coming from the kitchen was heavenly, even if she wasn't really hungry. Tyler came back into the living room and sat next to her, snuggling into her good side. Turning on the TV, he reached up and pressed a kiss to her cheek, before settling back against her. She could hear Rick talking to her father in the kitchen and the sound of their familiar voices made her start to relax.
"Good to have you back home, mom." Tyler told her softly and she smiled, pressing a kiss to his hair.
"Thanks, baby. It's good to be home."
This not being able to do even the most basic of activities by herself and always depending on someone thing was slowly driving her crazy. It had been two weeks since she had left the hospital and there was some sort of unspoken agreement that she and Tyler would stay at the loft while she recovered. It wasn't like she would have been able to be by herself at her apartment with 90% of her left arm in a cast and still take care of herself and her son. Of course there was always the option of staying with her dad, but he was still working, so she would end up alone with Tyler either way.
The loft was her best bet and Rick had been wonderful these past couple of weeks. A little annoying in not letting her do anything and treating her like she was breakable, but wonderful nonetheless. Alexis was finally out of school for the summer, so at least Tyler had someone to play with. Rick took them to the park regularly and Kate went along most of the time, still walking slowly.
It was amazing the toll that a gunshot wound took on your body. Even though she had been hit in the arm, her entire body was still recovering and she still felt weak and dizzy sometimes. Rick insisted that it was because she had lost a lot of blood, but she knew that the pain meds she was on shared a good part of the blame for her current state. So the night before, she decided to be rebellious and only take half her prescribed dose.
It worked in her favor for a while. She didn't feel as weak and her mind wasn't as fuzzy as it had been these past couple of weeks. That and the fact that she really didn't want to be anywhere near narcotics – given her family history of addiction – earned her decision some pretty nice brownie points in her book. Of course she had to deal with the pain as only half of the dose didn't dull it like the prescribed amount would, but she could take it. It was nothing she couldn't handle and she would have to start weaning off the meds sometime in the near future anyway. She had just decided to do it before the doctor told her to. No big deal.
Except that now, twenty-four hours after she decided to embark on this impromptu pain meds free crusade, her arm was throbbing painfully. But she refused to give in; she was just going to have to breathe through it and she was sure that it would fade with time. Or at least she hoped against hope it would.
"You okay?" Rick asked, entering his bedroom.
She was sitting on his bed, a book open on her lap. She hadn't gotten past page twenty in the past two hours, though; the pain prevented her from concentrating for more than a couple of minutes. He had taken the kids to the movies after she had insisted that he needed to get out of the loft for a little while and that she would be fine by herself for a few hours. So he had agreed and had just gotten back with Tyler and Alexis. She could hear the kids' excited voices coming from the living room as they discussed the movie and which game they were going to play on the Xbox next.
The pain in her arm had increased exponentially since they had left and now she was barely holding on without giving in to the blissful numbness that the medication could provide.
"I'm fine." She tried to tell him lightly, but it came out through her teeth as she gritted them in pain. "How was the movie?" She asked, after taking a deep breath, willing the pain to subside.
"Kate," he had stopped on his way to the bathroom and turned back around to walk to her side. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing. I told you, I'm fine." She looked away, but he took hold of her chin, making her look at him. She tried to move the book from her lap, but ended up moving her broken arm by accident. She couldn't help the gasp that escaped her lips as the pain doubled. "Goddamnit." She hissed through gritted teeth, closing her eyes against the pain.
"Kate, love," He sat down next to her and pushed her hair away from her face, where a few strands had escaped from the loose ponytail at the base of her neck. "Hey, what is it?"
"Nothing. My arm hurts, that's all." She told him, eyes still closed, refusing to look at him. "I'm fine." She insisted, trying to stay as still as she possibly could in order to not increase the pain she was already in.
"Did you take your meds?"
"Yes." She nearly growled at him. Couldn't he see that she was in pain and didn't want to talk or justify her actions right at that moment?
"Maybe it's time for another? When did you last take them?" He asked, his hand cradling her cheek. She involuntarily shifted towards his touch, the warmth from his skin soothing her a little.
"This morning. But I'm fine. I don't want to take them."
"Kate…" He started, but she shook her head stubbornly.
"No, Rick. I don't want to take them. I can handle the pain." She swallowed hard, her eyes filling with frustrated tears. "I don't want to be all doped up. I'm fine." She insisted, a tear escaping when he touched his lips to hers in a comforting kiss.
"You're obviously not, babe. Look at you. Let me get you the pills. You'll feel better." He framed her face with his hands and kissed her cheeks, her nose, her forehead until she opened her eyes and met his gaze. "Let me take care of you. I can't stand to see you in pain."
"I don't want them."
"Why not? You're in pain, Kate." He insisted, but she shook her head.
"I don't want to take narcotics any more than I have to. Not with the kind of history my family has. I'm fine. I can handle the pain." She explained breathlessly.
"You mean because of your dad?" He asked, surprised, and she nodded. "Kate… this is not the same thing at all. The doctor wouldn't prescribe a dose that could get you addicted. You know that."
"It's not just that. I don't want to be groggy all the time. I barely remember anything that happened since I've been here. I hate this feeling." She leaned against him and sighed when he kissed her temple. "I just want this to be over." She choked out, lifting her good hand to quickly brush her tears away.
"Oh, honey, I know." He hugged her close, mindful of her casted arm, and whispered in her ear soothingly until she could feel herself drifting to sleep. "I'm going to leave the pills on the nightstand. It's up to you if you take them or not, alright?" He murmured and she nodded, sleepily, exhausted by the emotional rollercoaster she had just been through. "I love you, Kate. Get some sleep." He moved her gently until she was lying in bed and pulled the comforter to her chin.
"Love you too, Rick." She mumbled and drifted off to a restless sleep.
When she woke up about an hour later, the pills were on the nightstand next to a glass of water. Lifting herself painfully to a sitting position, she reached for them and popped them into her mouth, chasing them away with water.
She could be strong tomorrow.