Disclaimer: If I owned Castle…good heavens would things be different right now!
A/N: They're killing me! Kate is being an idiot because she can't figure out what Castle heard, Castle is being an idiot for dating the bimbo, not telling Kate what he heard and basically trying to shut her out…and we haven't seen Alexis or Martha trying to help poor Kate any. Okay, now that angry rant is over, I'm going to try to fix some of this. Characters may be OOC…I'm super sorry if they are…but this is what happens when I angry write. By the way, I actually started this LAST Tuesday after the episode, but then school decided to kill me and I just finished. I hope you can enjoy!
Kate couldn't define her emotions. There were too many that she was feeling right now. When Castle told her he didn't have time to sit and talk she was hurt. She was angry that he could just casually push her out of his life like this. She was conflicted because she didn't want to go out with "Scotland Yard," as Castle had called him, but if Castle was living his life without her, why shouldn't she? Most of all, she was confused. She was hurt and angry, she hadn't gone out with Colin and now she was sitting in her apartment, trying to make sense of this.
Suddenly, Kate became determined. She was sick of feeling like this and she was sick of not knowing. Lanie was right. If it didn't work out, it didn't work out. Maybe this was the wrong time and maybe Castle was the wrong guy, but she didn't exactly have the time to sit and wonder about it. There was still someone out there who wanted to kill her and she needed to find out how Castle felt; she needed to find out how she felt. Besides, Lanie and Esposito still worked together and maybe she and Castle could do the same if everything turned out wrong.
Kate took a deep breath and knocked on the door of the loft. She hoped she could figure out what to say.
"Detective Beckett!" Alexis exclaimed, opening the door. This was the last person Alexis had expected to see at the door.
Kate smiled. "Hey, Alexis. I thought I told you to call me Kate."
Alexis shrugged. "I do remember you saying something like that."
Kate tried not to wrinkle her eyebrows. Something was wrong with the girl. She wanted to talk to Castle, but she was concerned. "Alexis, is everything okay?"
"I'm fine," Alexis answered in clipped tones. "Is there something you wanted?"
Kate raised her eyebrows, but let it go. "Is your dad home?"
Alexis bit her lip. "I haven't seen him lately."
"Do you know when you will see him?" Kate questioned.
"Alexis, honey, who was at the door?" A voice called from the kitchen.
Alexis winced. "Oh, I'd say in about two seconds."
As Castle appeared, Kate's eyes were glued to Alexis. The teen's gaze was concentrated mainly on the hardwood floor of the loft. "You told me he wasn't home," Kate said in astonishment.
"No, I didn't," Alexis argued, still staring at the floor. "I said I hadn't seen him lately, and I haven't. I've been upstairs for the past two hours. I saw him when he came in the door, but that's it. Well…bye!" She turned to run up the stairs without looking at Kate again.
Castle, having the general gist of the conversation felt a little guilty. He was angry and disappointed with Kate, but he didn't want his daughter to get caught between the two. He knew Alexis had loved Kate and he really did believe Kate was a good role model for his daughter. "Alexis," Castle warned his daughter.
"What?" Alexis asked, looking at her father.
Castle leveled a gaze at her. "Alexis Castle."
Alexis rolled her eyes. "Don't pull out the middle name." She huffed out a breath and turned to Kate. Alexis' eyes landed in the general vicinity of Kate's face, but Alexis still wouldn't make eye contact. "I guess I'm sorry." Alexis then turned and rushed back up the stairs.
Kate stared after the girl. If she thought she was hurt before this only intensified the feeling tenfold. She had done nothing to Alexis, but obviously whatever was going on between Kate and Castle was affecting his whole family.
"I'm sorry about her," Castle apologized. "Do we have a case?"
"No," Kate said. "I just wondered if we could talk."
"About what?" Castle questioned.
It was all too much for Kate. She lost her tightly held control and threw up her hands in exasperation. "Oh, I don't know! About this case, about why your daughter hates me, about why you're pulling away from me, about why you're dating a blonde bimbo and showing her case evidence! Pick a subject!"
Castle stayed calm throughout her outburst. He wasn't even going to argue with Kate, because how she had described the blonde was pretty accurate. "Kate, you're many things, but an idiot isn't one of them. You say you don't know why I'm acting like this. Just think about it for a little while. I've given you plenty of clues."
"Castle!" Kate began.
"No, Kate," Castle cut her off. "Until you figure it out…bye." He saw Kate began to panic, so he quickly amended his statement. "Bye for tonight. I'll still see you at the precinct, but our days will be exactly like today." He gently steered her out the door and into the hallway.
Castle sighed as he shut the door behind Kate. He wouldn't say that was the hardest thing he had ever had to do. Pretending to be happy with the blonde and working beside Kate every day were still in the running. Talking to his daughter about her behavior might make it up there too. He may be angry at Kate, but that didn't mean Alexis had any right to act as she did. Kate still deserved respect.
Castle couldn't help it, he had to sigh again. Sometimes he wished Kate had never come to his Storm launch party, he wished he never had the idea for Nikki Heat and sometimes he wished he had never started this precinct shadow game.
Kate stood in Castle's hallway trying not to break down. This was not her! She was not that girl! This shouldn't be affecting her like this! Then again, Castle had her feelings all mixed up lately. The truth was: she hated her day today. Sure Colin was a cute and fun distraction, but it wasn't the same as chasing leads with Castle. She missed Castle in the interrogation room with her and she missed him at the party with her. She wouldn't have minded half as much if he was the one dancing with her at the beginning of the party and she was sure he wouldn't have let Nigel's glass get by and leave her to swipe the cigarette case.
"Kate!" Martha's exclamation startled Kate from her thoughts.
"Oh, hello, Ms. Rodgers," Kate greeted Castle's mother. She was timid in her greeting, worried about how the mother of the clan would receive her.
"Kate, haven't I told you to call me Martha?" Martha scolded the detective gently.
Kate's face broke out in a smile. At least one member of the family was still being pleasant to her.
"Did you and my son talk?" Martha asked. She knew what had happened between the two and she hated to see them like this. Martha really didn't believe Kate had meant to hurt Castle and she thought her son was acting horribly ridiculous about all this.
Kate shrugged. "Yes and no. We spoke words to each other, but none of them had real meaning. It's been like this for days now."
Martha nodded. "Yes, I know. Richard still hasn't told you what happened?"
Kate shook her head in resignment. "No. He said I'm not an idiot and I should be able to figure it out. For some reason though, I just can't!"
Martha began to debate in her head. Richard would kill her, but Kate looked almost defeated. Martha had no doubt Alexis had answered the door and gave Kate a huge dose of hostility. That little red head could be hostile with the best of them. "Kate, Richard would kill me for telling you this, but I don't care. I'm going to tell you what happened."
Kate looked up at Martha. "You don't have to…"
"As long as he never finds out how you found out we're safe," Martha said. "Besides, if you tell him, I'll deny every word. It's my word against yours."
Kate smiled. Martha may not be on her side, so to speak, but she was definitely trying to help.
"I guess it was about a week ago, it was the awful case that had to do with the bomb," Martha reminded Kate. "You were questioning one of the suspects…oh I can't remember his name right now, but that's not important anyway. He gave you some bullshit answer about trauma amnesia and you called him on the bullshit. You told him you remembered every moment from when you were shot."
"How do you know that?" Kate asked rhetorically. Suddenly, all the pieces fell into place. Everything Castle had said, everything he had done. "Oh, God. My coffee was on my desk. Esposito said he had been there. He must've been in the observation room. He heard everything I said. Oh, God!"
Martha put a soothing hand on Kate's arm. "At least he hasn't left you yet. I don't think he's planning on leaving the precinct any time soon either."
Kate took a deep breath, trying to calm her racing thoughts and her pounding heart. She had to get out of here, but before she did, the least she could do was offer her appreciation. At least now she had something to work with. "Thank you so much for letting me know what has been going on."
Martha smiled at Kate. She looked like she needed a mother now more than ever. "It's not a problem. You know, if you ever need anything…no matter what, I'm always here."
Kate knew it was out of character for her and Kate knew she shouldn't do this but she couldn't help herself. She threw her arms around Martha and hugged the older woman tightly. Martha smiled at this rare but genuine show of emotion from the detective and hugged Kate back just as tightly.
"He knows," Kate said.
"Who knows what?" Lanie asked taking a sip of her wine.
As soon as Kate left the loft she ended up in a bar. She called Lanie to meet her there and these were the first words Kate had spoken to Lanie in the ten minutes they had been there.
"Castle," Kate tried to clarify.
"Well, I figured that much," Lanie said. "What does Castle know?"
"He knows I lied to him about my shooting," Kate told Lanie quietly. "He knows I remember."
Lanie's face broke out into a smile. "Great!"
"How on God's green Earth is that great, Lanie!" Kate exclaimed.
"He's only pulling away from you and dating the bimbo because he thinks you don't love him," Lanie explained.
Kate shook her head. "He said she was fun, easy and uncomplicated. He said that's what his life needs right now."
"Because he thinks you don't love him," Lanie reiterated.
"His daughter hates me," Kate pointed out.
"Because she thinks you don't love him," Lanie repeated.
"Why is that all you're saying!" Kate cried.
"It's true," Lanie said. "All the problems you think you have are pretty much solved now. All you have to do is tell him you love him and tell him that you are ready and you have no other problems. He'll dump the bimbo and his daughter will love you again."
"But he'll ask for answers," Kate reminded Lanie. Kate sighed. "Why did I lie to him?"
Lanie smirked. "I've been asking myself that question since day one, honey."
Kate briefly massaged her temples. "Lanie, I don't have answers. I don't know why I lied to him. At the time, it seemed like the only thing to do."
"You lied to him because you were scared, because you needed time to think and because you were dealing with things," Lanie rattled off. "You've been scared since you met him, you're always thinking too much and as I said last night, you're always going to be dealing with things."
Kate narrowed her eyes at her friend. "Lanie, this is not the time to make jokes!"
Lanie smiled. "Kate, I'm not joking. If that's all you've got, that's what you tell him. If it's not the whole truth, it's at least part of it."
"But what if he asks me a question I don't know the answer to?" Kate wondered.
"You don't always have to have all the answers, girl," Lanie told her best friend. "If it's right, the rest will fall into place."
Alexis heard a knock on her door. She closed her eyes. She knew it was her dad coming in to give her a "Dad talk." She knew it would be about kindness, respect, et cetera. She supposed Kate didn't necessarily deserve to be treated the way Alexis had treated her earlier, but she deserved some hostility and she was positive her dad wasn't delivering any.
"Come in," Alexis called after bracing herself.
"What did you say to her?"
"Grams!" Alexis exclaimed. It seemed she was just getting all kinds of surprises tonight. "What did I say to whom?"
"I ran into Kate outside and since I'm a betting woman, I bet you talked to her," Martha explained. "What did you say to her?"
Alexis recounted the story. "Then I said, 'I guess I'm sorry,' because I knew that's what Dad wanted me to say. But that was technically the first time I lied. I'm not sorry for being hostile towards her and I wouldn't have been sorry if she left without seeing Dad. I don't even think Dad needs to go into the precinct anymore. He just needs to cut all ties. Give her a taste of her own medicine and see how she likes it."
Martha pressed her lips together. She thought about Alexis' words for a few minutes. "Alexis, have you ever really been in love."
Alexis looked at her grandmother like she was crazy. "Don't you remember Ashley?"
"Were you in love with him?" Martha questioned.
"I was going to go to Stanford with him!" Alexis exclaimed. "I was going to give up half my senior year for him!"
Martha nodded. "But what about after? When you looked into the future did you see him in it? Did you find it impossible to imagine a future without him in it? Did you see yourself being a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher and having him by your side the whole time?"
Alexis bit her lip. "I never really thought that far ahead."
"If you had?" Martha inquired. "And had seen him in that future."
"That's scary," Alexis admitted. "Knowing you need someone that much, knowing that you couldn't live without them in your life, knowing you're always going to want them." Alexis slightly shivered, but then held up her hand stopping her grandmother from saying anything. "But Grams, I'm eighteen. That's naturally going to be a little scary."
"It doesn't matter if you're eighteen or eighty, darling," Martha told her granddaughter. "Having that rush of emotion of is always scary. People handle that rush in different ways. Even if Kate hadn't gotten shot, I have no doubt that Richard wouldn't have been able to hold off telling her how he felt for much longer. Some blurt it out and some…"
"Some run away," Alexis finished.
Martha knew Alexis got the point. "Now, I'm not saying you have to be Kate's best friend. I know you're angry at her for what she did and I understand. I was a little angry at her too. When I saw her out in the hall though…she just looked so defeated and I felt for her. I told her I'm here any time she needs me and if you need to be angry, well, she doesn't need all of us to be here for her."
Alexis slightly smiled. "I probably didn't help with that defeated look."
Martha knew Richard made it a point to always be honest with his daughter, so she gave Alexis the honest answer. "No, you probably didn't."
Alexis decided she was going to apologize to Kate the next day at the precinct. "I'm going to apologize to her tomorrow. Why didn't Dad come up here and talk to me? I was sure your knock was him."
Martha smiled. "He wanted to. But what was he going to do? Give you a talk about kindness and respect and you would've tuned him out in the first two seconds. I got you to listen, got you to talk, got you to understand."
Alexis nodded. "That you did. Thanks, Grams."
Kate took a deep breath. She could kill Lanie for talking her into this. Lanie had told her it wasn't that late yet and she didn't want another day like today at the precinct. Because all of Lanie's arguments had made sense at that point, here Kate was again, at the door of the loft, getting ready to knock. She almost laughed at how quickly Lanie's arguments were crumbling. The only reason Kate hadn't raced out of the building yet was because Lanie was now calling Ryan and Esposito and telling them everything would be better tomorrow (Kate had no solid proof of that, but she knew her friend). If everything wasn't better tomorrow she had no doubt Lanie would come up to the bull pen and in front of everyone soundly kick Kate's ass.
Kate tried to count the grains of wood she could see in the door. She counted about twenty before she could feel her eyes start to cross. She closed her eyes, lifted her hand and knocked.
Alexis was walking down the steps to look for her dad when she heard a knock on the door. She walked over toward the door and opened it. She gasped when she saw Kate on the other side, with her eyes closed.
"Detective Beckett?" Alexis asked. Alexis couldn't help but wince when she saw Kate's eyes squeeze shut tighter.
"Kate?" Alexis whispered.
Kate's eyes shot open. She almost smiled at the look on the red-head's face. It wasn't a hostile look at all. It was almost a welcoming look. "Alexis."
"I'm so sorry about earlier," Alexis said. "I know, technically, I already apologized, but…"
"Earlier?" Kate questioned. "I don't even remember what happened earlier."
Alexis' face broke out in a huge smile. "Kate, I don't deserve—"
"I don't remember what happened earlier," Kate repeated.
Alexis' smile got bigger if that was possible. "Are you looking for Dad?"
Kate nodded. "Is he home?"
"I haven't seen him lately, but yes he is home," Alexis semi-teased.
"You're going to fix everything, right?" Alexis asked.
"Fix everything?" Kate inquired.
"You know, make him dump the blonde bimbo and make him date you," Alexis clarified.
"I'm going to try," Kate answered honestly. She figured if she was about to be open and honest with Castle, she might as well start with his daughter. After all, Alexis seemed to have a drastic mood change in the past hour and she didn't act like she wanted to kill Kate anymore.
"You're going to try?" Castle asked, coming into the hallway. He had been in his study and was about to come out when he heard Alexis and Kate talking. He was going to intervene until he heard his daughter apologize. He smiled when he heard how Kate brushed it off, but he wasn't sure he could be that forgiving of her.
Alexis and Kate both gasped, not expecting him. Alexis looked between the two of them and announced, "I'm going to go upstairs. Dad, don't be mean or I'll sic Grams on you." Alexis smiled sweetly, hurriedly stuck her hands in her pockets with fingers crossed and bounded up the stairs.
Castle walked in the direction of his study. Looking behind him and seeing Kate still standing at the door, he motioned with his hand for her to follow him. Inside the study, he closed the door and stared at her.
Kate, uncomfortable with his stare, averted her eyes and stared at the floor. After a few seconds, she realized this was probably one of the stupidest things she could do in this particular situation. It was like she was hiding from him yet again. She took a deep breath and raised her eyes to his. She matched the intensity in his stare.
Castle stated the obvious. "So you know."
Kate rolled her eyes. "Yes, I know. And if you would've just told me what you heard instead of making me play this ridiculous guessing game we wouldn't be in this position right now."
"Which position is that?" Castle asked.
"Castle!" Kate exclaimed.
Castle shrugged. "I just thought not telling you would be easier."
"Easier on who exactly?" Kate wondered.
"Easier on both of us I guess," Castle explained. "You wouldn't have to be put in the position to tell me that you don't feel the same and then I wouldn't have to leave the precinct."
Kate didn't even register the last part of his sentence. "Oh, Castle, is that what you think?"
"Is what what I think?" Castle asked. He wasn't sure if she was talking about her loving him or leaving the precinct.
Kate shook her head. "Do you think I don't feel the same?"
Castle blinked. She couldn't be getting ready to tell him she did. That was just too much to hope for. "If you did, why would you lie?"
"I didn't really mean to lie," Kate told him. "It just kind of happened. Right after you said you loved me, I lost consciousness. When I woke up, I had a hole in my chest. I had to deal with that. I also had just recently found out Montgomery was the third cop. A man I had loved and trusted almost as much as my own father was dead and he had betrayed me. I had to deal with that. Josh was still my boyfriend and before I even began to think about what you told me I had to deal with him. At the time, lying seemed like the only logical thing to do. Before I knew it, three months had passed."
"Why didn't you tell me you heard me when you came back to the precinct and got me back to the precinct?" Castle wondered.
Kate shrugged. "It had been three months and I'd had too much time to think. I was scared…I was terrified."
"Terrified?" Castle asked. "Kate, why?"
Kate shook her head. "Castle, it's you! You and I are two completely different people. I think of us like fire and ice. If everything goes right…"
"There will be an awful lot of steam," Castle said in a low voice.
Kate couldn't help but chuckle. "Something like that. But if anything goes wrong, I don't know if I could handle that."
"Things like this don't come with contracts or guarantees," Castle mentioned gently. "I know how much you love those things, but they don't exist. All we can do is hang on tight and enjoy the ride."
"But…" Kate trailed off. She really couldn't think of a good argument for that. She really didn't want anything to go wrong, but the prospect of getting together with Castle just sounded so good.
Suddenly Castle remembered something. While Kate was coming up with all these arguments that she had months to think about, never once did she tell him how she really felt. "Kate, how do you feel about me?"
Kate gave a signature eye roll, but soon realized he was serious. After all, she never explicitly said anything. She walked closer to him, twined her arms around his neck and gently kissed his lips. She smiled. "Castle…I love you."
They moved in to kiss, but before their lips could connect they heard a loud scream from the hall. "YES!"
Castle shook his head. He moved away from Kate and rushed to open the door. Kate and Castle both couldn't help but laugh when the red-head almost landed on the floor of the study.
After Alexis caught her footing, and managed to remain upright, she looked at both of them sheepishly. "Hi."
When neither of them said anything Alexis continued, "I wasn't snooping. I was…polishing the doorknob?"
Castle suddenly got a sly smile on his face. He turned to Kate. "You know, we could always give Alexis her money's worth."
Kate chuckled. "That we could."
Castle walked over to Kate and swept her up in a kiss.
Alexis wrinkled her nose. She didn't really want to see them kissing, she just wanted to make sure Kate loved her Dad. "Okay, okay, I'm leaving." Even as Alexis said that, she knew that wouldn't make them stop. In fact, she didn't really want to think about where that might lead.
Alexis quickly went back, noticed both of them still pretty into that kiss and shut the study door. As she did though, she smiled. Everything was again right with the world.
Okay, so I may have made Castle's anger disappear much faster than seems realistic, but I want things to be happy and I really didn't feel like writing a scene where Castle was just angry. Besides, it was getting much too long already. Also, Alexis' anger may seem a bit unrealistic, but I feel like she's really protective of her dad and would be really angry if Kate hurt him. Anyway, you could always tell me how you feel in a review? Thanks for reading.