Title: It Can Happen To Writers Too
Spoilers: Kill Shot
Disclaimers: All characters of Castle belong to ABC and other people who aren't me.
Alexis was surprised not to find her dad home when she got back from school. He seemed quieter than usual and bit more tired since the whole sniper thing. She was worried about him and wasn't sure if it was just her imagination. She found Gram reading a magazine. The older woman looked up. "Oh, Alexis darling, I didn't hear you come in," Gram said with smile. "How was school?"
"It was okay. Um, have you seen dad?"
Gram nodded as she set down the magazine. "He just left to meet with his agent. Alexis, have you noticed anything strange about your father?"
"Strange? Gram, his middle name is strange sometimes," she replied with a laugh.
"Clever. You know what I mean."
Alexis sat down beside Gram. "I've actually been thinking the same. He seems so quiet and distant. I asked if he wanted to have a Star Wars marathon this weekend and do you know what he said?"
"What?" Gram asked.
Gram shook her head. "No? That's not like him. He could watch that three weekends in a row and not get tired of it. Something is definitely wrong!"
Rick sighed as he stepped off the elevator. The past few nights had been rough. After the capture of the New York Sniper all he wanted was a good night's sleep, but it had yet to arrive. Beckett's own PTSD had triggered some bad memories on his end too and whenever he'd fall asleep he'd wake up in a cold sweat, heart racing. He knew he had to talk to someone about this because sleep deprivation was not a good thing physically or mentally. Rick didn't want to end up yelling at someone for no reason, which is why he left the precinct early. Beckett and the guys were just finishing up the paperwork on Travis so there wasn't much for him to do.
Rick hated not doing anything because then he began to think and those thoughts of late kept drifting back to the day Beckett was shot and the subsequent month or so after. He hadn't told anyone, not even his mother or Alexis, how much it hurt that she didn't contact him right away. He suspected they knew, though. His family was very intuitive when it came to him. Either that or he was like an open book.
So Rick decided to go home early in hopes that he could somehow talk to Mother and Alexis. Besides he remembered the sadness in his daughter's eyes when he declined the offer to watch Star Wars. She looked heart-broken but Rick just couldn't think about the weekend when he could barely get through the week.
It was quiet in the apartment which meant that neither of them was home just yet. Rick shook his head and thought a quick nap on the couch wouldn't hurt. He couldn't possibly have a nightmare during the day. Well he thought it sounded convincing to him.
Rick's dreams were just memories resurfacing. Memories he tried so hard to keep hidden. The sound of the gunshot the look of shock on Beckett's face, how she felt in his arms. She was tense and shaking and yet she had looked so peaceful lying in his arms.
"I love you, Kate," he whispered as her eyes closed.
Usually he'd wake up at this point but suddenly someone grabbed him from behind. He cried out as Beckett dropped to the ground. "This is your fault, Castle!" Espisito said shoving him towards Ryan.
"If you had just left her mother's case alone like she asked then Montgomery wouldn't be dead and neither would Beckett!" Ryan told him angrily.
Rick shook his head. "No. No, she's not dead! She's alive and we need to get an ambulance out here fast or she won't be. Come on, guys!"
Ryan and Espisito shared a glance and tossed Rick into a hole in the ground. They laughed as the started burying him in the grave. Rick watched in horror as others joined them. Jim Beckett, the Mayor, other officers from the precinct and two others that Rick would never have expected.
"Richard you waited too long to tell Kate you loved her so this is how it must be."
"Yeah, Dad. I love you but you can be an ass sometimes."
"No! Please don't do this! Kate's still alive I know she is. She didn't die! She didn't die!"
Rick tried to get up but his feet were covered by dirt and he was scared until he felt a hand on his shoulder like someone was shaking him...
Blinking he sprang up and realized he was in his apartment. He took several deep breaths to calm down before he looked to see who woke him up. When he did see he flinched but quickly recovered. "Alexis?"
"Are you okay, Dad?" she asked, worry filling her eyes.
"Here Richard," his Mother said handing him a glass of water. She frowned as he drank. "You're pale, darling, that must have been some dream."
Once Rick had relaxed he sat back and Alexis and his Mother sat on either side of him. "You haven't been sleeping well, have you?" Alexis stated. "You've been having as much trouble as Detective Beckett with this sniper case."
"You are definitely my daughter," Rick replied with a chuckle, giving her a squeeze.
"Well now that we know she's right, Richard, why don't you tell us about that dream you just had."
He nodded. "Actually I've been having dreams about the day Beckett was shot since the case was resolved. Lately I'd just be remembering everything and feeling everything so I guess I haven't been sleeping much since then. Today was the first time the dream took a decidedly nasty turn."
"What happened?" Alexis asked, taking his hand.
Rick told them about the dream and when he was finished he was leaning forward and breathing heavily. "Richard! Richard calm yourself before you pass out! Kate is alive! You talk to her practically every day. You know this!"
"And Dad you know Gram and I would never say anything like that to you. Neither would any of your friends," Alexis added. "What happened to Kate was not your fault!"
After several deep breaths Rick sat up looking at his Mother then at Alexis. "I hear you, honey, I really do, but it's going to take some time for me to believe that."
Alexis gave him a hug. "Well we'll keep reminding you of that if we have to."
"She's right, Richard," Martha said also giving him a hug. "We'll be reminding you every day."
The next morning Rick woke up feeling refreshed. He didn't have any dreams that he could remember and that was fine by him. As he got dressed he thought about the past few days. He knew that in Beckett's line of work there would be danger but he also knew that she was the best person for the job.
Rick stopped at his favorite coffee shop and ordered two, whistling as he headed to the 12th Precinct. When he arrived he found Beckett sitting at her desk working diligently at her computer. He stepped up behind her and placed the coffee on her desk.
"Solitaire? That's hardly productive."
"Well we can't all be as productive as you, Castle," she replied taking a sip of the coffee he brought her. "Thanks."
Before he could reply her phone rang. He watched as she asked various questions. She was so beautiful and he loved her so much. Rick was both relieved and scared when she said she couldn't remember what happened when she was shot. That meant she didn't know what he said to her. At first he tried to convince himself it was in the heat of the moment but that was a lie. Rick Castle was truly in love with Kate Beckett.
Speaking of Beckett when she hung up she stood and gave him a look. "Castle, what are you staring at?"
Rick shook his head. "Not a thing. After you, Detective."