This came into my head as a 'prequel' to Johanna Castle to show why she might be so precious to them. Try not to hate me too much.

This may be more than a one-shot if I decide there's more to tell. There's a few ideas circling in my head but with my workload nothing's concrete yet.

I do not own any of these characters.


Kate Beckett sat in her chair at the precinct. Today was a paperwork day, a boring day. There were no murders to be solved, no adrenaline pumping runs whilst chasing a suspect; and no Castle, following her around like a puppy, getting under her feet. Or so she'd thought. Even though they practically lived together nowadays he still accompanied her to work on paperwork days, sitting and watching her as she worked. It had used to be infuriating, now it was irritating but also slightly amusing. She'd look up and their eyes would lock for a moment, her lips curling into a small smile. She found her hand straying to her stomach, resting there and making her smile grow. Ten weeks, they hadn't told anyone yet. Not even Martha or Alexis. For now it was their little secret, their cherished and special thing which only they knew about. She'd been nervous when she'd taken the test, apprehensive. But, in the short time she'd known about her pregnancy she'd already begun to anticipate the arrival in her mind. She and Castle would lie curled up together at night just talking, discussing how everything was going to turn out. Yet a thought ate away at the back of her mind, she was still in her first trimester, things could still go wrong. She tried to push them away but they remained, she kept them to herself though, not wanting to sound neurotic.

Castle had popped out for a moment to grab them a sandwich for lunch, she'd demanded that they stay in and not go to Remy's as she had too much work to do (and in the time he was gone she worked twice as fast with no distractions).

"Hey, Beckett?" Ryan called from his desk. She turned, throwing him a questioning and slightly irritated look, not appreciating the interruption of her thought process. "I just need you to sign this really quickly. Then it's done." His tone was apologetic so she obliged. As she got to her feet she felt a twinge in her abdomen and she frowned. She quickly made her way over to Ryan's desk, leaning down slightly to sign the form. "Are you okay boss?" Ryan asked, concerned, "you look really pale."

"I'm fine, I just…" her breath caught as the twinge became a sharp pain, she staggered slightly, grasping the table, her eyes wide as the elevator doors opened, revealing Castle. He was smiling, relaxed and clutching a sandwich bag. One look at her and his expression changed, "I think…" she managed to get out "we need to get to the hospital Rick." He was over there like lighting, lunch forgotten. He steadied her, putting her arm round his shoulders and holding her upright. She tried to steady herself, to look respectable as questioning eyes stared at her from all angles, yet she couldn't conceal the fear in her face. As the doors to the elevator closed she opened her mouth to talk yet Castle interrupted.

"It's okay." He paused, his other arm wrapped tightly around her waist "It's all going to be okay." Yet she noticed how drawn he looked, the worry lines standing out and the clenched jaw. He practically carried her to his car outside and they drove in silence. The lack of conversation said more than anything they could, they were trying to contain their fear, their knowledge that something was going badly wrong. Kate could feel her eyes start to cloud over with hot tears and she pushed them back, furious with herself, desperate not to lose hope of their secret. Yet as she looked down several tears escaped from her eyes.

"Rick?" her voice trembled "I'm bleeding." He put his foot down.

As he pulled into the ER he leapt out of the car "Help!" he called, "I need a wheelchair, take her up to OB!" he opened Kate's door and helped her out of the car, she was shaking so much she could barely stand and the wheelchair couldn't come soon enough and she collapsed into it. As they moved quickly down the corridor to an examination room he filled the doctor in on her condition "She's ten weeks pregnant, the bleeding has only just started." The doctor nodded and opened the door to the examination room, as Castle tried to enter the doctor stopped him.

"I'm sorry I can't allow you in here. We don't allow anyone other than doctors or nurses in." Castle didn't even have time to speak, only saw Kate's eyes, wide and panicked as the door was closed in his face. He slammed his fist against the window in frustration and he felt a hand on his shoulder, a nurse.

"I'm sorry sir, you'll have to come and sit in the waiting room."

"But I…" to his surprise his voice was strained, broken.

"Sir it's regulations, I can't have you standing out here." As he turned to leave the door flew open, he saw Kate on a gurney, unconscious. They were only there for a moment as she was whisked away, and the firm hand returned to his shoulder, leading him to the waiting room.

He didn't know how long he sat and waited, it felt like an eternity. He felt his phone vibrate in his pocket and pulled it out, a message from Martha. 'Hello darling, I just wanted to know what time you'll be home. Call when you can. Mother x' he felt a lump form in his throat and, coughing hard to try and clear it, called home.

"Hello, Richard?"

"Hi" it amazed him how steady his voice seemed.

"Darling, I just wanted to know when you'll be in this evening with Kate."

"Um," he pinched the bridge of his nose, looking at his feet "I don't know, why?"

"Well, as you know Alexis will be out tonight and I thought if you and Kate were getting in late I might as well go out for the evening."

That would work, he knew whatever happen that he and Kate would want some quiet time. He took a deep breath "Yes, I don't know what time we'll be in but you should go out."

"Oh?"

"Kate and I haven't had a night in, alone, for ages. I think we might need it."

"Alright sweetheart, I'll be out of your hair then. I'll see you soon and try not to get into any trouble."

He could almost see her going to put the phone down so he quickly blurted out, "Mother?"

There was a pause "Yes?"

"I love you."

Her reply was surprised, even guarded "I love you too, stay safe." And with that she put the phone down.

As he replaced his phone into his pocket he saw the doctor approaching out of the corner of his eye, turning quickly he said "How is she?"

The doctor had that controlled, unreadable look he hated "She's stable; she's recovering in the maternity ward."

"And the baby?" if she was in the maternity ward, it had to be good news, right?

"I'm afraid she lost the baby." The words hit him like a tonne of bricks "the foetus had already died, probably a week ago" so all that time they'd planned, they'd been doomed to failure? "Her body was simply rejecting it. We managed to clear her uterus and she'll be fine, it won't affect her ability to have more children".

Yet Castle felt anger bubbling up inside of him "If she lost the baby, then why did you put her in the maternity wing?" He didn't give the doctor time to answer as he stormed away. He broke into a run as he rounded the corner, as he got closer he could hear the cries of newborn babies and the grief started, it felt as if his heart was breaking. Yet, if this was the affect on him, who knows what it was doing to Kate. He reached her room, slowly opening the door. She was lying on a bed, hooked up to an IV, the steady beeping showed her strong heartbeat. She was so still it was almost as if she was asleep, her face turned away from him. Yet as he got closer she turned to look at him, her eyes hollow and dark from grief, her face drawn and, already, there were dark circles under her eyes. He didn't say anything, just took her hand, sat down on the chair by the bed and placed a chaste kiss on her dry, pale lips. They sat in silence, listening to the sound of happy families around them, both of them aching to be those people and to be away from their situation. Eventually a nurse came in, ready to discharge her, they barely listened to what she was saying. The walls seemed to be closing in on all sides so without a word Castle helped her into the mandatory wheelchair, signed the discharge papers and wheeled her out of the hospital. He watched as they went down the ward. Her hazel eyes took in each room as they past, the new mother holding her baby, the father standing and watching proudly. Yet she didn't break, if anything she sat straighter, her posture closed and tense. After a while she couldn't take it anymore and her eyes drifted down to her hands, clasped in her lap.

He knew she wasn't going to talk, she'd closed up. As they drove back to the loft in silence he searched for something, anything, to say; but what was there that would even start to heal the hopelessness she felt? He could tell her they'd have more kids, that it wasn't her fault, that he was sorry, but would good would that do? He knew her well enough to know that she wouldn't believe him, that by saying them, it would make the ideas bigger in her mind. He pulled into his normal parking space and took off his seatbelt, looking over at her. She was making no move to get out of the car. He sighed, climbing out of the car and walking round to her side, opening her door and leaning over to undo her seatbelt. She reached up, wrapping her arms around his neck, craving the comfort wordlessly. He wrapped his arm around her waist and with his other arm he lifted her legs, supporting her as he carefully lifted her out of the car, shutting the car door with his hip, mentally thanking the vehicle for its automatic locking system. He held her as close to him as possible as he made his way up to the loft. As he reached the door to his home it swung open, revealing his mother, ready to go out. Her eyes widened "Richard? What happened?" he shook his head at her, as he felt Kate's breath hitch slightly. He moved past his mother to his and Kate's room. He gently lay her down on their bed, brushing the hair from her eyes.

"Sleep," he murmured "I'll come and wake you later with something to eat." She nodded, not bothering to move or even remove her shoes. She just closed her eyes with a long sigh. Castle turned to see his mother watching them in the doorway. He frowned, walking out of the room, turning out the light and closing the door behind him.

"Richard, what happened?" she repeated; her tone more firm this time.

He brought his hands up to his face, his fingers curled and pressing into his face, trying to keep composure, "I really don't want to talk about it." His voice was raw with emotion as he tried to avoid his mother's gaze.

"Is it the baby?"

His hands dropped, he looked at her incredulously "Wha... you?"

"Oh I've known for almost along as you two have. You both need to learn to mask how you're feeling if you want to keep that kind of thing a secret. Kate's hands are always resting on her stomach, and if they're not, yours are…" she tailed off, seeing how her son's eyes were beginning to cloud. "Oh honey." She enveloped him in a tight hug "I'm so sorry." She sighed "It does get better though, the pain will fade and you'll have more children." She rubbed circles on his back, "Now go and get some sleep." She released him from the hug, holding him at arm's length "You both need each other right now. Be honest with her and she'll be with you." He nodded and she pulled him in for a quick squeeze before making her way to the front door, "I'll see you tomorrow; Alexis will be home at about 10 tomorrow morning."

He watched the door close and sighed, turning to face their bedroom door where he knew Kate would be trying to sleep. He slipped off his shoes, leaving them by the door and moving carefully into the bedroom. She was lying in the same position he'd left her in, her sat on the end of the bed and removed her shoes for her, sat her upright to take off her jacket, and then tugged at the covers under her until they were loose and he could cover her with them. He then climbed under the covers himself, lying close to her, his arm draped across her middle. He kissed the crevice where her neck met her shoulders and murmured "I love you." He felt her take a deep shuddering breath.

"I love you too." He heard the broken reply

"Now sleep" he whispered and he felt her nod. He closed his eyes, and drifted into oblivion.


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