A birthday fic for the wonderful JMHaughey. Happy birthday, dear :) I hope this is enough Castle for you and that you enjoy it. Thank you for being the lovely friend you are and being so supportive in the trek from the Bones fandom to the Castle fandom! Stay awesome :)

Eitoph has been the best beta as always, thank you honey! And I encourage everyone to read her Bones fics, because they're amazingly good!

I'm still new at Castle, so feedback is greatly appreciated!

Disclaimer: I don't own Castle...but if anyone wants to give it to me, I'm a willing recipient :)

Enjoy!

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The Sun Must Set To Rise

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When she was just a girl,
She expected the world,
But it flew away from her reach,
And the bullets catch in her teeth.

In the night, the stormy night, she'll close her eyes.
And dream of paradise.

-Coldplay

..:::..

More than anything, she remembers being happy in that once upon a time kind of way. She finds it hard to capture that feeling well enough to ever grasp at it again, but somewhere in the far reaches of her mind she recalls it enough to almost feel the cold winter breeze beating against her cheek, the snowflakes resting in her hair, her breath visible in front of her in small puffs. Her feet carry her to her parent's apartment, but before she can enter, she is met by a cop at the bottom of the stairs. He seems polite and asks how she is, she replies in turn, telling the man that she's returned to New York, from California, to surprise her parents.

As they fall into step together she asks if he lives in this building too. He says he's just been at a crime scene and has been given the task of alerting the family of the victim to the tragedy that has occurred. She remembers wondering how any person could ever shoulder such a burden; she couldn't imagine having to be the person to do so. They walk side by side up to her front door and she recalls thinking it was sweet of him to drop her off, she turns around to wish him luck (do you wish people luck in these situations?) and is met by his face now drained of colour.

In the winter of 1999, Kate Beckett walked a cop to her front door, thinking he was nice, kind of cute and carrying bad news for some poor family in her parent's apartment building. She was sadly mistaken and that feeling of happiness left her behind as it flew off to find somebody else outside in the snow.

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"I suppose I was always meant to have this drive to find the truth. My mother instilled it in me from a very young age," she smiles a small smile, caught in a memory of a time when she used to play dress ups in her mother's wardrobe, trying to grow up way too fast, "But it wasn't until that day outside my door that the drive became a raging inferno." She's been picking at a thread on her pants during her session with Dr Burke and it finally comes loose as she continues, allowing herself to look up now that the thread has been taken care of, "And I don't think I've been able to put that fire out." A dry chuckle escapes her as she averts her eyes once again, twisting and pulling at the hem of her pants.

For his part, Dr Burke is impressed with her progress, but quirks an eyebrow at her odd expression of happiness in the midst of such a tragic story.

She sees the movement and her hand halts against the fabric, a motion not unnoticed by the therapist. She answers his unasked question, "Castle would enjoy my word play, is all."

"Your partner?"

"Yes. He likes when I play along with him."

Dr Burke tips his head towards his patient, "Have you spoken to him yet about..."

She cuts him off, "No. I keep thinking I'm ready, but I'm not."

"I think it's good that you have set your own pace, Kate, but don't hesitate to test your boundaries. You'll be well within your safety net to at the very least breach the subject with him."

She nods, turning her attention back to her pants, "If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to discuss my mom some more."

Dr Burke is surprised by her request, but allows her to continue for the remainder of the hour, listening as she recounts, step by step, the downward spiral she has fallen into since 1999.

..:::..

She thinks about calling her partner straight away, but a shower is calling her first. She tips her head back under the spray and washes the day away, the steam swirling around her, clearing her head. She steps out from under the water, turning the taps off and wrapping a towel around her.

It has become a ritual, really. Half dressed, she walks up to her full length mirror, studying her scar as she steps closer and closer. It's still hard to believe how close to death she had come, how this tiny little hole had ripped through her very life and beat within her soul, toxic and sad. She raises a shaking hand to the puckered skin and lets her tears fall, because she is starting to let go, and letting go means facing these feelings head on, rather than hiding from them.

As she stares ahead, her other hand reaches for her phone, she only has to press one button and she can hear the ring.

"Why, good evening Detective Beckett, to what do I owe the pleasure?"

She smiles despite the fact that she is ridiculously teary, "Hey Castle. Did I ever tell you about how I found out my mother had died?"

He is silent on the other end and she has this feeling that he's forgotten that you can't see a person shaking their head over the phone, "I had just come home for a quick visit, I'd spent Christmas with my family and then flown back to California for New Years, so I thought I'd stop by in New York to see my parents for the first time in 1999."

"Kate..." His voice is strained.

She continues as though she hasn't heard him, "I get to the apartment and there's this young cop there, we walk all the way to my parent's apartment and I turned around to thank him for being so kind and escorting me to my door."

She can hear background noise on Castle's end, but she ignores it, as she keeps running a finger over her scar, keeps letting the tears fall, "But he wasn't there to be kind, he was there to be the messenger." She pauses and sobs into the phone a little, not caring how she sounds, just knowing that this is helping her, "Dad started drinking that night, we were barely into the new year and our world was falling apart. My mother was amazing, Castle. She held everything together, she was the strong one and the weak one all at once, she could be so kind, but you never doubted her authority. She was my mom, Castle. You would have loved her and she would have adored you."

She is basking in memories that she thought were long forgotten, feelings she was sure she would never feel again. She feels lighter, as though some of the weight has been lifted from her shoulders, "Castle, I would really like it if you came over tonight." A glance at the clock on her bedside table tells her it's only just after nine, not too late, really. She continues to run a finger over her scar as she waits for his answer.

"I'm already here."

She hears a soft knock from the other end of her apartment and walks to the door, still wearing only sweat pants and her bra, a confidence raging inside of her like never before.

He'd like to say he's holding himself together pretty well, but seeing her so bare, not only in clothing, but raw emotion trickling across her face, makes his knees buckle a little as he steps inside her apartment. They stand behind her closed door and stare at each other, pure marvel in their eyes, awe at what is passing between them tonight.

She speaks quietly, scared that any sudden noise might ruin their moment, rip between them and tear them apart; simple and fragile, "I want you to know my scars. Inside and out."

He nods, never doubting the strength of their relationship "I want to learn."

She slowly extends her arm, keeping her eyes locked on his and grasps his hand, leading it to just above her left breast, "Learn."

He takes her permission and lets his eyes fall to where his hand rests, feeling her head bow along with his, studying his movements. He runs a shaking hand across the red mark, his breath moving across her skin, alerting her to the intimacy of the moment. She doesn't ask him to stop though, she steadily continues to watch as he catalogues every part of her scar. When he looks up, she catches his eyes for a second and before she has time to register what he is asking, she nods.

His lips land on her neck, feeling her pulse there, she tips her head back as he guides her to the wall beside her front door, gently urging her to stand on her toes so he has a higher pathway to the little circle between her breasts. He peppers kisses along her collar bone and hovers over the mark, his breath warming her skin, sending bolts of arousal through her. Arousal and something else, something unique to them, something completely honest and true. They stand together for just a moment, allowing that feeling to wash over them, to bring them together, and then he softly lets his lips fall to her scar, the motion healing them together. Finally they feel her life flowing through her, she can feel her heart beating against his lips, he seeks out the pattern of the steady beat with his kisses, running his mouth up and down and around her scar tissue.

He softly murmurs against her skin, confessions of love and promises for their future. And somehow she's not afraid anymore. He knows her walls, her scars, he knows her and he will be with her until the second she figures herself out and then for every second after that until the day they both die. And that is a confidence she has never held in her hands before.

His lips are still softly soothing her scarred body, searching out any part of skin that hasn't been touched when her hands come to either side of his face, cradling his head. She slowly pulls and he complies, kissing her with a tenderness she has never felt. She knows in that moment that she will never be able to live without this again. She's never been a dependent person, she likes having her own control, but for him, for all he has done for her, she is willing to surrender that control.

They make their way into her apartment, constantly in contact with each other, cherishing this new beginning together. Her runs his hand over and over her scar, each pass healing her a little more, bringing them closer. Some unspoken agreement passes between them that when the sun rises tomorrow they'll figure the rest out. Right now, she just wants to feel happy.

For close to 13 years she has held onto that day at her parent's apartment, she has felt that sadness every single hour.

Tonight, though, she finally let's go.

Tonight, she finds her paradise.

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Thank you for reading