a/n: for my tumblr anon.

I Was Broken

I was broken, for a long time

But it's over now.

He was pulling away.

Sure, he still answered every phone call and always had a cup of coffee for her, but he was different. Distant.

She couldn't even compare him to the cocky Castle she first met over three years ago. That Castle was eager to please, desperate for her attention. This man, was cold and flippant.

She had asked him repeatedly what was wrong, only to have him force a smile and wave her off, mumbling half-assed assurances.

He hadn't really looked at her in three days, and when he did manage to make eye contact, his eyes were hollow, his face blank.

...

It wasn't until a week later, as she walked out of the break room, that it hit her. A single coffee cup sat on her desk and Castle was nowhere in sight. She was flooded with the distinct feeling of déjà vu. Not even a week earlier she had found her coffee, but no Castle. She had just finished interrogating Bobby...

He heard her. He had to have.

It was the only explanation.

Shit.

She saw that Castle was sitting in the conference room, making small talk with the boys. His shoulders slumped, bags under his eyes. He wasn't supposed to find out this way. She needed to fix this. Fix them.

But, there was nothing she could do about it now. At least, not until this case was solved.

...

The case was closed. The boys were out of there as fast as their feet would take them. It had been a draining couple of days. Castle looked beyond tired. And though she couldn't imagine herself looking much better, she couldn't let him walk away again. She wouldn't.

"Wanna grab a drink?" She asked, a false casualness drenching her tone.

Castle shrugged on his jacket, looking anywhere but at her, shaking his head.

"Sorry, Beckett, I-"

"Please," she said, before he could refuse. She wish it didn't sound so desperate. But it was. She was.

Castle sighed heavily, running a hand over his face.

"Why?" he asked, exasperated, defeated.

"I need to talk to you about something," she hedged. "It's important," she added, trying to catch his wandering eyes.

"Let me guess, you were shot in the chest and you remember every second of it," he said quietly, nearly choking on the words. Her heart twisted, scar burning the thin skin in the middle of her chest. She forced her hands to remain at her sides, to not touch it. When she didn't answer he lifted his eyes to hers. They were no longer empty, but pleading.

"Yes," she whispered, tears stinging in the corners of her eyes. She closed them tight, willing the wave of emotion back. He didn't need to see her cry. She hurt him. It wasn't fair if she started crying. With a steadying breath she opened her eyes, only to find Castle disappearing into the elevator. Again.

Shit.

She couldn't breathe. As the doors slid shut, she grabbed her coat and sprinted toward the stairs.

Enough.

Enough of this not talking. She was done pretending she didn't want him. That she didn't need him.

She was shaking and gasping for air when she finally reached the first floor, throwing open the door, just as Castle emerged from the thankfully slow lift.

"Castle!"

He flinched, but kept walking, swiftly toward the door. She hurried after him, only catching up to him when he was forced to stop for traffic at the corner.

She sidled up next to him, wrapping her fingers at his elbow, tight enough to keep him there.

"Rick."

"I-I can't do this, Beckett. I get it, all right? I don' t need to hear you say it," he mumbled, trying to walk as the light changed. She pulled him back, turning him until he faced her.

"What do you think you get?" She asked. Because whatever it is, he's wrong.

"Why. I get why you lied," he argued, his voice growing louder, trying to beat out the sounds of the city.

"I don't think you do," she challenged, stepping closer to him. He recoiled, but she was still holding his arm, so he could only get so far. "I was broken, Castle. Literally broken, I had a hole in my chest," she said, voice threatening to break under the sudden flood of memories. "And I'm sorry, I'm sorry I wasn't strong enough to do anything about it, but I'm trying. I'm trying," she said, pleading with her eyes. He was finally looking at her. Really looking.

"It's been ten months, Kate. That's trying?" he said, before shaking her grip and crossing the street.

She followed, cars honking as the light turned green again.

"I've been in therapy," she called out, causing his step to falter. He turned slowly toward her. "I've been going to therapy since that first case back, and I swear, I'm trying."

Wet, hot tears were streaming down her face now. She was unable to hold them any longer, so she wrapped her arms around her waist trying to contain the hurt.

"I'm sorry," she whispered between sobs. "I'm sorry."

Castle shoulders dropped, eyes softening. He reached out a hand and pulled her against him, wrapping his arms tightly around her shoulders. She wound hers around his waist, gripping the back of his jacket tightly, pressing her face against his neck.

"It's okay," he said, roughly.

She began shaking her head. It wasn't okay. But it could be. It could be okay, if she just...

Luckily, she was wearing four inch heels and only had to lift her head from his shoulder to press her lips to his. He sucked in a startled breath. She used his shock to slip her tongue past his teeth. He groaned into her mouth, finally responding like she hoped he would.

His hands found their way into her hair, as he stepped closer. Close enough to make her forget they were standing the middle of the sidewalk.

They only stopped when air became necessary, Castle's hands dropping to his sides.

His lips quirked, but he was still holding back. So, Kate went back in, kissing him firmly on the mouth, hands tracing his jaw.

"Castle?"

"Yeah?" he said, still a bit breathless.

"I love you."