Because I was angry.
May be a ~touch ooc, but I'd like to think I justified it.
Warning: Major character death.
Disclaimer: I don't own Castle.
She was standing at her desk when she heard.
She gripped the back of her chair, her knuckles turning white as she listened to Lanie give the details of what happened. It struck her that maybe she should have been bothered that they didn't call her directly. She should've been the first to know, right?
She realized that the entire room had stopped speaking. Everyone was staring at her, waiting for her to say something, waiting for her to respond. She squeezed her knuckles so tight that the chair creaked underneath the pressure, bending back towards her as she tried to squeeze the emotion out. She pursed her lips together and took an unsteady breath.
"Lanie…" she breathed.
"This isn't funny, Lanie," Kate interrupted, tears pooling around her eyelids, "I… I don't know who put you up to this but it's not funny."
But now Lanie's crying.
"I'm not lying, sweetie," she said, her own face covered with fresh tears, her voice barely above a whisper but everyone in the precinct could hear her, "he's gone."
Kate finally looked at her friend, taking in the anguish on her face and Kate knew she wasn't kidding. She wouldn't joke about something so serious.
But she still couldn't accept it. He couldn't be gone.
For a long moment, no one moved, they just listened, waiting for Kate to react. Her breathing got heavier as she stood beside her desk. She shook her head slightly, her brow furrowed as she tried to comprehend what she had just been told. Her eyes didn't focus on anything until she found the nesting dolls on the corner of her desk, his nesting dolls that he had insisted on buying when they had the case with the two boys switched at birth. She picked the large one up with a shaking hand and opened the top before she had to put it back down on her desk. She put her hands flat against the wooden surface letting her hair fall over her shoulders as she continued to shake her head.
He couldn't be -
Her eyes snapped up when she heard a floorboard creak a little way down the hallway, the only sound besides her breathing in the entire precinct.
It was him, right? It had to be. He was here. It came from the direction of the elevators. He came back. He just left his wallet here. He was okay. He was -
She quickly found Gates shifting uncomfortably from side to side, leaning against the doorway to her office, removed from everyone but not making any move to get people back to work. Kate locked eyes with her, taking in the guilty furrow of the Captain's brow and the way her arms were wrapped defensively around herself.
Kate let her gaze drift back to her desk and her eyes locked on the empty chair that now sat beside it.
Kate clenched her fist against the table, her eyes clouded with rage as she looked at the empty chair back at Gates, who still hadn't said a word.
She couldn't see straight, couldn't think about anything other than the fact that someone needed to be at fault. His death… His death couldn't have been an accident. There had to be a reason, there had to be a story
He was gone. All because of her.
With a grunt that was nearly a scream, she pushed herself away from her desk, causing the entire surface to move backwards from the force. One of her glass elephants on the edge of her desk toppled off of the desk, shattering onto the floor. Then she lunged towards Gates's direction.
But they were ready for it.
Before she could make it more than two steps towards Gates, Ryan, Esposito, and Lanie were already stopping her. Esposito wrapped his arms around her middle with her right arm sandwiched between his chest and her body. Ryan was on the other side, trying to keep her arm from lashing out and hitting someone. Lanie stood in front of her, her hands on her chest to try and keep her from moving forward.
But none of them spoke. No one in the entire precinct spoke. They just watched.
"YOU DID THIS!" Kate screeched towards Gates, her voice choked with emotion, "YOU MADE HIM LEAVE!"
"Detective…" Gates said.
"HE DID NOTHING WRONG!" Kate went on, shouting over top of Lanie who was pushing against her chest a little harder, "IF HE WAS HERE HE'D STILL BE ALIVE!"
The rational part of her brain was telling her to calm down, that Gates didn't know what was going to happen. The rational part of her brain was warning her about the consequences of yelling at your superior officers, trying to assault your Captain.
But she wasn't listening to that part of her brain right then.
Kate thrashed against Ryan and Esposito, trying to force her way out of their arms so she could get to Gates. She wasn't thinking straight, she couldn't understand that they were helping her. She fought, kicked out at Esposito, threw an arm out at Ryan, all the while with tears streaming down her face as she fought to keep her breathing under control.
She hadn't ever felt like this. When her mother died, she had cried and she had been angry but she never fought it. She dedicated her life to finding the justice she deserved, but she knew that her mother was gone. She took Royce's death in silence, refusing to cry and turning all her energy toward catching the man who took him away. And she had tried to fight for Montgomery when she was being dragged away from him, but she knew that it a losing battle.
But him? He couldn't be gone.
It just wasn't possible. He was Rick Castle, the man who survived radiation and bombs and sinking to the bottom of the Hudson in her car. He survived shootouts and bank robberies and beat trained assassins in fist fights.
This was Rick Castle, her favorite author, her shadow, her best friend. Her…
He couldn't be gone.
Gates took a deep breath, "Kate …"
"HE HAS A DAUGHTER!" Kate screeched, and she was sure the people in the floors below her could hear her, but she didn't care, "A 19 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER!"
Oh god, Alexis.
She swears she saw the Captain's eyes start to water, but that may have been her own tears blurring her vision.
"Kate, I'm sorry for -"
"LIAR!" The word echoed throughout the precinct as she struggled against Esposito who just pulled her closer towards him, "YOU NEVER WANTED HIM HERE. YOU WANTED HIM GONE. HE'S MY PARTNER," her voice broke on the word partner and a sob burst past her lips without her consent. She felt her knees give out, the tears streaming down her face so quickly that she couldn't stop at all. Esposito lowered her to the ground in the middle of the precinct, her legs folded underneath of her as she brought her hands up to cover her face.
A moment later and Lanie in front of her, pulling Kate into her arms, holding her against her chest and running her fingers through Kate's hair. She felt two hands on her back, realized in the back of her mind that it was probably Ryan and Esposito but she couldn't respond. She didn't hug Lanie back, didn't push herself any closer to her.
She just couldn't stop crying.
"He's my partner," Kate sobbed against Lanie shirt. Lanie held her tighter, pressed her cheek against her hair, trying to hold Kate together as she fell apart in her arms.
An hour ago, Rick Castle had been alive and sitting in his chair, making a joke while they waited for their warrant to come in to search the house of their prime suspect. Gates heard laughter and had come out of her office, seeing that Rick was the cause of the amusement and promptly demanded that he leave. Kate had immediately came to his defense, and the boys stood by as support, when she explained that they were waiting for their warrant and had nothing to do in the meantime. Gates snapped at Kate, told her that her shadow better leave today or he was never going to be back allowed in her precinct at all.
Kate had put up a fight but Rick was already standing up and shrugging on his coat. Kate looked at him, confused, but he just smiled at her as he fixed his collar. He didn't want to cause any more trouble, he said, no reason for Kate to deal with anything more than she already had to. He moved closer to her, grabbed her hand in his and squeezed it gently before he leaned in and whispered conspiratorially in her ear to keep him posted on the case. He said goodnight to the boys, managed to call out a cheerful goodnight to the Captain, and moved towards the elevator. He smiled at her as the doors closed.
And now he was lying in a body bag because the cab he had taken from the precinct back to his loft was t-boned by a tripped up kid driving and he didn't make it. Lanie said he hit his head on the window, thrown against the side of the car by the force of the impact.
It was so unfair.
It was so pointless.
Where was the story?
If she had been with him, she might have been able to stop it. Maybe they would've walked to Remy's to get something to eat before he went back to the loft. He had complained he was hungry.
She knew she wouldn't have been able to leave. But she should have been there.
He shouldn't have died by himself in a taxi halfway home.
He was her partner.
She sobbed again against Lanie.
She'd have to tell Alexis. And Martha. She'd have to tell them that he was never coming home.
If he hadn't been kicked out, he wouldn't have been in that cab.
If he had stayed and made her a cup of coffee before he left her may have missed that cab and had to get another one.
If she had held his attention just a little bit longer, squeezed his hand just a little bit tighter to make him raise his eyebrows before he left, maybe he'd still be here.
Her words echoed throughout the silent precinct.
"He's my partner."