This was inspired by a confession and its comments I saw recently, so if you've seen it, that's why this seems to follow its story.

Disclaimer: I'm a broke student, Castle and its characters have no affiliation with me whatsoever.

Author's Note: Whew I have not put anything up here in forever! Anyway, please enjoy~

It was raining.

It was a pretty typical Manhattan rainy day, depressingly dark, wet, and gloomy. Matched her mood. Well, the depressed part at least.

She had told him last night. Just sort of spilled out, really. Didn't even realize she'd said it until a few moments of stunned silence later. She'd told him she remembered everything. That she'd lied to him, that she'd held this back from him purposefully, just to protect herself. Selfish. So, so selfish looking back. That's what he had said... He'd left her, shaken and broken, in the break room and stormed out of the precinct. She hadn't the strength to go after him. He hadn't come to the precinct today. She had to do something, it… it couldn't end like this.

And now here she was walking into his building, down his hallway, standing in front of his door. She was drenched to the bone, as she seemed to have left the rational part of her brain and her umbrella at her loft. She paused in front of his door, staring at the smooth surface and flashing back to the numerous times she had stood in front of this very door. To share a dinner with his family. To ask for his support when Ralgan had asked her for a talk. For a roof over her head when she had nowhere else to go. To just talk. And now to apologize. Apologize and explain.

She drew a shaky breath and pressed the doorbell.

He opened the door with a warm smile that soon faded when he saw it was her. She found herself unable to meet his eyes, biting her lip as she spoke.

"Can… can we talk for a second?" she said, a horribly desperate tone taking over her voice. Her eyes shifted up to meet his, and what she saw there wasn't the Castle she knew and hell, might as well say it, loved. No, this man was all hurt and anger and closed off, and he had all right to be.

After what felt like an eternity of tense silence he sighed, saying "Come in."

An uncalled for feeling of relief surged through her as she followed him into his loft and into his office. She had no right to be relieved, she wasn't even close to being out of the woods yet.

He shut the office door behind them, ever the gentleman, and walked past her to stand in front of his fake murder board. His icy blue eyes locked onto her hazel ones and she opened her mouth to say… something. She had thought of so many ways of saying what she needed to say, but they were all gone from her mind in that very moment.

"I'm sorry," she blurted out, "I'm so… so sorry."

They stood in silence for a few, long heartbeats. Of all the stupid things she could've said…

"I'm sorry. Is that all you're going to say? I'm sorry?" he said, advancing on her with every word, "Sorry for lying this whole time because lying was your only escape route? For shutting me out for an entire summer, knowing I… knowing my feelings about you? For giving me no reason not to believe that you blamed me for the shooting as much as I still blame myself?"

"Castle that's not what I meant at all-" she said, shocked. But before she could continue, he raged on with his angry analysis of what she had done, of her.

"Of course it wasn't," he said, a hollow laugh emerging from his throat, "You didn't even think about what I'd think, did you? You were too busy protecting yourself and running away from difficulties to think about what anyone else would feel about thi-"

A loud cellphone ring interrupted him and he whipped around to face his new phone on the desk. He picked it up, looking at the caller ID. It was his mother. Of course. She always had the best timing, didn't she.

"Excuse me," he said, his voice still bitter. He walked past her to take his conversation away from her, shutting the office door once more. She sharply took in a breath she didn't realize she'd been holding. Her breaths trembled, her whole body did really. What… what was that?

She turned to face the darkened screen of his fake murderboard. Some infuriatingly curious (and hopelessly fangirl-esque) part of her desperately wanted to see what the author had planned next for Nikki Heat… especially considering the newest change in the real life Nikki and Rook. He wouldn't be back for a while, considering what that conversation with his mother sounded like… Her curiosity got the best of her in the end.

She picked up the remote from where it lay on top of a large book, pressing the on button. What she saw made her see a whole new, terribly real meaning to the phrase curiosity killed the cat. She stumbled back, slamming into his desk as her hands scrambled to support herself. What she saw was no fictional character's profile, oh no. It was her own face. Shaking, almost not wanting to see, she tapped the screen. It jumped into life before her horrified eyes.

Images flashed before her, each hitting a sour chord in her life, each feeling like a punch to the gut. People, events, cases, names… they all jumped out at her like ghosts come to haunt her from her past. All centered around a question in blazing white. Who hired the sniper?

So caught up in the tide of horror unveiled before her she didn't hear the office door open again, didn't hear the muttered cursing, didn't hear him come up next to her until he put a hand on her shoulder. She whirled around, tears streaming down her face.

"Beckett, I can explain," he began, but she wasn't having any of it. She bolted past him, out his door and into the elevator. Anywhere but that office, anywhere but near those images, those horrible… horrible…

The elevator doors closed behind her, her arms grabbing around her stomach as if she'd fall apart without their support. Her breaths were labored as the elevator descended. The doors opened again at the lobby and she ran out of the small space.

"Hello Miss Beckett, would you…" began the doorman, but she ran straight past him and into the street. Her tears ran hot and unguarded down her face, mingling with the cold raindrops still falling. She slowed on the sidewalk, chest heaving.

"Beckett!" She heard someone yell behind her, "Kate!"

She felt a hand on her shoulder again, and she whipped around. She found herself face to face with one Richard Castle.

"Why?" she said, her voice choked, "Why?"

"I can explain," he said, his hands grabbing her arms as she tried to run away again, turning her to face him, "I can explain."

"Explain how you went behind my back and went into my mom's case? Something you purposefully kept me away from just so you could swoop in and save the day? So you could play hero and save the damsel in distress?" she spat out bitterly, "Well here's some news, this isn't a damn fairytale, Castle. What this is, this is death. Everyone involved in this case is dead, I think you told me that once. And I swear I can't tell your family- God, Rick, I can't tell Alexis you died because of your so-called heroism. I can't tell your mother…"

"My heroism?" he said, voice getting louder, "You think I'm just doing this to play hero?"

"As far as I can tell, yes," she said loudly, "Unless you've lied to me about that as well."

"Look who's calling out the liars!" he yelled, "This says the woman who lied to me for a year, just to save her sorry self from having to deal with emotions. To protect her oh-so-sacred wall from getting broken down by anyone but herself. You'd rather just run away from that wall than try to get over it."

"Yes, so says the guy who would rather I run away so he can crush the wall all by himself!" she yelled back.

"I only did it to protect you," he growled, and she stepped back as if stung, "If you kept digging they'd kill you. I can't let that happen. I can't watch the life drain out of your body, watch your lifeblood spill out through my fingers. I can't see your dad suffer the way he did after he had to watch you get shot in front of his face."

"To protect me?" she yelled, shriller than she had thought it would be, "How could any of this protect me? You think I'd be able to lose you? That it wouldn't kill me to lose you?"

"Of course I know that," he said harshly, "I got this call, okay? I got a call the day you started to get sucked back under. They said if you kept digging, you'd get killed."

Her smoldering eyes swung up to meet his, her voice just as harsh as his when she answered, "And you didn't think to tell me? You hid this from me? Castle, I have the resources to trace the call, to catch the guy, to…"

"I can't lose you, Kate," he said, interrupting her, "I can't lose you to the case, to the Dragon, to an-"

And then her lips were on his.

She had acted on an instinct, on some suppressed longing, suppressed need that she'd beaten down for years. Beaten down to protect herself, to protect him, for incredibly stupid reasons that'd seemed legitimate at the time… But she couldn't fight it, not while she was losing him. After a moment of shock his hands rose up and tangled in her hair, pulling her closer as hers shot around his neck and into his hair needily to pull him closer. A fire, kindled with want and anger and hurt and who knows what else burned in her veins, a fire that only burned higher as the kiss grew more passionate. His tongue brushed against her bottom lip and she opened to him with a small moan. Her mind flashed back to a prior, high-stakes kiss, but that was all dashed away as she sunk into the delicious present.

They broke apart, gasping for air in the pouring rain. Stood there and faced each other in a stunned silence.

"I can't lose you either," she said, lips still burning from the kiss. He was still in shock as he stared at her before something seemed to shift in him.

"Well…" he said, slowly, "How about we first try not to lose each other to hypothermia and get out of the rain?"

Some of that playful Castle lilt had come back into his voice. Oh how she had missed that… She nodded and ran with him back into his building.

The fighting wasn't over, not by a long shot. But they were on their way, and that was the best she could've hoped for.