Her words echoed in his head, and he felt the air sucked out of his lungs as if he had been punched. It was almost as bad as hearing it from her when she didn't know he was there, if only because she was saying it directly to him now. He didn't know what to say, or how to react, and at this point he didn't even know if he was angry. The man who always had something to say about everything, said nothing.
He was speechless.
Kate was finding it very difficult to read him suddenly, and she watched him sit back in his chair and stare back at her darkly. She had knocked the wind out of him with her admission, and she awaited its backlash. "I couldn't tell you, Castle," she whispered. Her tongue seemed faster than her brain. "I couldn't tell you, because I needed to heal."
"I could have helped you." His reply was a whisper so soft, she hardly could make out his words.
"You did help me," she replied. "You saved my life. You let me have time. That was enough, then."
"That was enough?" He stated haughtily. "That was enough?" His voice was rising in volume, but lowering in tone.
"Castle, I was on the ground bleeding to death. You were under duress. You never explained yourself. What was I supposed to think? And when you did have the chance to talk to me about it, you backed off."
"Because you couldn't remember, Kate." He lowered his voice and glared across at her. "I thought you couldn't remember." He mumbled.
"And what do you suppose would have happened if I had told you that I remembered, Rick? I was in a relationship at the time, I was… I had just been shot by a sniper. The captain was dead… tied up in this scandal that would bring the entire precinct to its knees. Did you expect everything to just fall into place because I acknowledged what you said?"
"I… I don't know," he stammered. His cockiness was starting to diminish. "No, I just…"
"Why didn't you say something when you came to the hospital? Why didn't you tell me what you said?"
"I… I didn't… I didn't want you do reject me."
"So instead of being rejected, you just pretend it never happened. Then you learn from an interrogation that I remembered all along?" Kate's tone was incredulous, growing angrier with each word. "But instead of confronting me about it, you decided to just act out? Knowingly being a jackass… making me feel like I did something wrong without any sort of explanation." She glared angry across his desk at him. "You wanted your answer for why I didn't say anything, Castle… you got it right there." She poked his desk with her long index finger. "You and I cannot have an adult relationship, until we can have an adult conversation… and we won't be having an adult conversation until you can start acting like an adult. It's time for you to grow up, Castle. It's time for you to put your toys away and grow some balls."
"No." She said, keeping her eyes on him as he pulled his chair out and started to stand up. "Unless you can muster the courage to say how you feel when I'm not half dead. Unless you can prove to me that what you are saying is what you feel, and not just what you want… then we can have this conversation." She said, backing up toward the door.
"Kate, just wait a second..." Castle said, watching her turn toward the door, he reached his hand out, but didn't take a step toward her. She glanced to him, and he was at a loss for words. She waited for a beat, and then two but there were still no words to erupt from his lips. She nodded her head then, and turned, stepping out of his office quietly, she closed the door behind her.