A/N: This is just a little something to help me get through the next week until "Cops & Robbers". I am so excited for this episode it's ridiculous. It's also short because I can't write a lot. A more detailed explanation is on my tumblr, in case you're interested. The link is on my profile.
I may or may not write a second chapter of this. I'm still not sure. Tell me what you think?
Disclaimer: Castle is not mine.
Of Love and Admissions
The explosion nearly deafened her. But that was not what she focused on at that moment. All she could think about was that he was in there, held hostage and at gun point, and there wasn't a damn thing she could do about it. The detective in charge of the negotiations had banned her from going inside with the team doing the take down and it was just eating her up inside that she couldn't go and see for herself that he was okay.
This felt almost like that time, over a year before, when she had figured out Jerry Tyson had played them. She had felt that same hollow feeling in the pit of her stomach, that same dread that things could go terribly wrong and she could lose him forever. Because if there was one thing she had learned in those four years of their unorthodox partnership was that she couldn't live without him anymore. He was too important, too integral a part of her life for her to even consider the possibility of living without him. If anything ever happened to him, she was sure a part of her would just die inside. He was the one person – besides her parents – that she would never get over losing. And right now, knowing he was still in danger, that feeling of despair and love and friendship and grief and everything in between was swallowing her whole.
When the first hostages started to come out, she held her breath, waiting just behind the yellow tape for him to show up. She needed to see him, to touch him, to make sure he was real and that he was okay and safe and nothing was going to happen to him. She needed him. That much she had already admitted to herself. Her sessions with Dr. Burke had helped her finally see with a glaring clarity just how deep her feelings for Castle ran and just how much she had come to depend on him. At first, she had been reluctant to accept it. After all, she took pride in being such an independent woman and the fact that she had come to depend on someone being in her life was almost insulting. But Dr. Burke had slowly helped her see that that was just part of their relationship, that Castle depended on her probably just as much as she did him.
Now, as she watched the hostages come out apprehensively, that feeling in her gut just grew exponentially the longer it took for him to show up. After a few minutes, she finally saw a flash of red hair and allowed herself to let out a sigh of relief as Martha was led to one of the ambulances by a paramedic. She looked okay, just shaken up, and Kate hoped that was all there was to it. Another few minutes passed by and Kate was almost fearing the worst. It shouldn't be taking this long.
When, at last, she saw him walk out of the bank, her knees almost gave out in relief. He was talking to one of the police officers and he looked okay. He wasn't hurt. He was safe.
God, he was safe and it was over.
The overwhelming sense of relief made her eyes fill up with tears and she hastily blinked them back. She couldn't cry now, not in front of everyone, of her team, the other detectives. She had to be strong right now. Breaking down could wait until later, until she was at the solitude of her apartment with no one to witness her tears. She watched as Alexis passed by her in a blur of red hair and tears, running towards her father and crashing into him in a heap of sobs and love. Kate felt like doing the same, but she knew Alexis needed to be with Castle right now. That was what mattered the most at the moment. If it had been her father in the same situation, she would've probably been a blubbering mess too. Castle was fine and safe and she could wait for his daughter to see that for herself.
A smile tugged at her lips when their eyes locked, even with the distance of several feet between them, as he hugged his daughter tightly. He sent a weak smile her way, before kissing Alexis' hair and whispering in her ear. She watched as Alexis nodded, hugging him one more time before walking over to her grandmother with him. Once Alexis was with her and Castle had made sure that his mother was okay, their eyes met again and this time, there didn't seem to be anything that would break their gaze.
Kate barely felt as her feet carried her to him. Before she could even register what was happening, she was running in his direction, her body crashing into his as her arms enveloped him in a tight hug. He was there, in her arms and very much safe and real. She hadn't lost him. Closing her eyes, she tightened her arms around him, reveling in the feeling of him hugging her back with just as much intensity, his face buried in her neck. They were quiet for an entire minute until Kate had finally gotten her emotions in check.
"Don't ever do this to me again, Castle." She whispered harshly in his ear and felt him chuckle, the vibrations reverberating through her body. She pulled back slightly to look at him and the myriad of emotions and feelings in his eyes knocked the air out of her lungs. "I'm so glad you're okay." Her voice came out almost like a gasp and she was surprised when he reached out and brushed his thumb against her cheek, wiping away a tear. She hadn't even realized she had been crying.
"I'm glad I'm okay too. Are you okay?" His hand lingered on her cheek a tad longer than necessary, but she didn't mind. In fact, she had yet to let go of him herself, but she still wasn't ready to sever their connection.
"Yeah, I just…" She shook her head and smiled at him. "I'm just glad this is over and that you and Martha are safe."
He looked at her for a moment longer and then pulled her in for another hug. It would occur to her later that they had been doing this in front of everybody, but right then she didn't care. He was safe and solid in her arms and she wasn't willing to let him go.
"Thanks for looking after Alexis. She told me you stayed with her." He whispered in her ear and she nodded, pulling back from him, but taking his hand in hers.
"It was the least I could do. She was so scared." She squeezed his hand when he closed his eyes, a frown appearing between in his eyebrows. "She was so brave, Castle. You should be proud of your kid." She offered him a smile and he nodded gratefully.
"Mr. Castle? We have to take you to the station so you can give your statement." One of the uniforms interrupted with an apologetic look in his eyes. "Whenever you're ready, I'll take you and your mother there."
"Sure, I'll be just a minute." Castle smiled at the young police officer and turned back to Kate. "I have to go." He said quietly, his thumb caressing the back of her hand. She nodded and squeezed his hand.
"Are you sure you're okay?" She insisted, searching his eyes and he nodded. "Want me to take Alexis home?"
"She'll probably go with us. But, um… I'll see you later? Maybe you could stop by the loft?" He sounded so shy and unsure that she couldn't help but smile.
"Sure. I'll just finish up here first while you go give your statement. Call me when you get home?" She answered quietly, a small smile on her lips and butterflies in her stomach.
"Absolutely." His smile lit up his eyes and that spark she loved so much was finally back. He leaned in and she closed her eyes when he pressed a lingering kiss to her cheek. "I'll see you soon, Kate."
She nodded and took a deep breath to try and slow down her heart rate. He gave her hand one last squeeze and walked over to the boys, talking to them briefly, before going to find his mother and daughter. Kate closed her eyes for a minute, her hand over her heart.
He was okay and she would see him soon.
She also couldn't help but wonder if they had just crossed a line.