Kate: So what do I do?
Dr. Burke: What do YOU want to do?
The conversation with her doctor plays in her head when she steps out of the doctor's office. This is a really good question. What did she want to do? She thinks about it when she steps out of the practice to the street. Her mind is filled with questions running around, trying to find the answers. She sets her pace slow while walking back to the precinct. She needs time, she needs space, she needs to think things through. What does she want to do? That question haunts her.
Walking slowly towards precinct she lets her mind settle. 'What do I want?' she asks herself. Surely, she wants her partner back. Who does he think he is, prancing away like that, following that insane Detective Slaughter, like he was a shiny new toy. She feels a spark of jealousy running through her. Thinking back 4 years, she was his muse, his shiny new toy. She kind of wants that feeling back. The way Castle is acting lately, it's a clear sign that he is tired of her. She is not the shiny new toy anymore. She misses the feeling. She misses him.
Opening the doors of the precinct, she wonders. What happened to him? Why he is pulling back? Let's face it. He is tired of waiting. Just as Lanie said. She is too late. She is too late for him. She is too late for acting up, he doesn't want to do anything with her anymore. He is pulling back, pulling hard. Why else did he decide to tail this insane Detective? He wanted something different, something that is not her. Does he find so her repulsive that he even can't stand the sight of her, so he chooses to be away?
She sighs as she steps into the elevator, pushing the button to her floor. 'What to do?' What does she feel? She thinks about it. She remembers. She has remembered all this time. Her chest burning as the bullet ripped through her. Her body falling to the ground with a thump, hitting her head. Castle reaching for her, holding her. She remembers him looking straight in to her eyes. Pleading, fearing for her life. She feels her chest burning, she reaches her hand up and rubs her scar. It hasn't been bothering her in a long time. But now it is. 'Kate, stay with me. Stay with me Kate. I love you Kate'. She feels lonely tears forming in her eyes and tries to wipe them away before they can fall down her face. She doesn't need to get weepy now.
She remembers it all too well. Waking up in the hospital. Hard to breathe, hard to stay awake. The pain in her chest was too strong. The images of the shooting were coming back to her. She heard it in her mind again 'I love you, Kate'. Oh, Castle. Oh, you.
At some point when she was in the hospital, she started thinking back about what happened to her. Playing it through her mind again, she started to have doubts. What if he didn't mean it? What if he only said it because she was dying. He can't love her. She was too damaged, too broken. He could have so many better choices... He is a millionaire writer, for crying out loud. He could even buy himself a perfect bride. Why... why did he say he loved her? No, he can't love her, she decided then. And she choose to be silent about her memory. She lied to him in the hospital. To keep herself away from him. She was too damaged. She had a hole in her chest. She needed to heal, she needed to think, she needed to get away. And so she did. She got away. Away from everything.
As the doors of the elevator open, she steps into her precinct floor. The room is quite silent. It is after hours, most of the people have gone home to their loved ones. She sees Ryan and Esposito reading the files of the court hearing. She goes to the conference room, where they have all the documents for the trial. She settles herself there, sitting and opening a random document. She starts to read, but soon discovers that she can't really concentrate. Her mind is still buzzing. Filled with questions, searching for answers.
She came back. To the city. To her precinct, to her job she loved. She was afraid to meet Castle again. After all, she HAD promised to call but she never did. After she went to see Castle at his book signing and the horrible few days they shared after it, she had decided to try. To try to heal. For him. Maybe if she could get better. To be whole again. To be better for him. She started looking for signs from him, whether he still loved him. She saw them. Little nuances of how he looked at her, how he talked to her, how he was crowding her personal space. She smiled at the thought. He still cared about her. Cared enough to stay around and be her partner.
With every case they worked together, she started to fall in love with him, even more she had fallen before. He was always there for her, she was there for him. She couldn't help falling hard, falling in love. After all, he was her favourite author. She had liked him from the start, even if he was annoying as hell. He was perfect...
She was jealous of Serena Kaye, when she had gone out with Castle. Unbelievably jealous. Even though she had told Castle to do that. She didn't want to see Castle with any woman. He HAD said he loved her, after all. Did he still love her? When her PTSD surfaced months later, he didn't let her fall. He was there for her, every step of the way. Even in the background. She noticed. She noticed the little things he did for her. She wanted to change, she wanted to have a chance with him. When they were cuffed together, waking up in warm embrace - she loved being with him. Even if he annoyed her so much. She had come to love being annoyed at him. This was how they worked together. Always keeping each other on their toes.
In Ryan's wedding they had danced together, spent time together as each other's dates. It was fun. Neither of them dared to make any steps forward in their weird dance of romance. But they enjoyed each other's company. When they were taking care of Royal, they had a moment together. He had touched her, drawing slow circles on her hand. She had felt the instant electricity that ran through their joined hands. She couldn't talk, she couldn't think. If she could feel that way by only a caress of his hand, what would happen if their relationship went deeper?
The case with the CIA had thrown her off her game. She started doubting. She started questioning if the supposed love he confessed was real. She didn't know if she was his next "conquest" he tried to get his hands on. He had a relationship with Sophia, years ago. But they still seemed to have this chemistry together. They had a spark. She wanted to step back, give him space. After all, it was his choice.
They survived the case with CIA. Sophia turned out to be a spy, playing a double game. He seemed to be hurting after that case. He had feelings for Sophia, but he didn't actually know how much of her act was true. How much had he loved her? Had Sophia ever loved Castle? No, she thought, not the way she did.
With the latest cases, they were getting closer and closer in their relationship. She started to feel that she was ready. She was ready to take the next step. She was starting to feel whole. It had taken so long, but she was there. She wanted to be there for him. To be with him.
And then... something happened. She still had no inkling what had happened. One moment, he was the happy, usual Castle. But then. He changed. Something happened. Something changed. He started pulling away. Doing crazy stuff, going back to his roots as a NY Playboy, hanging around with hot blonde chicks. Just when she was ready to confess. When she was ready to take this extra step towards him. She was afraid now. He had enough. He didn't want to wait anymore. Time for him to move forward. She couldn't really blame him, but she had hoped that he would stay around, be there for her till the end. But she guessed, he had stopped loving her.
She leans back in her chair, turning her head towards the ceiling, breathing slowly. But she had not stopped loving him. She was there. She loved him. There - she had said it. She loved him. But he didn't love her. What to do? She still loved him.
In the end... what DID she want?
"I want him" she mumbles to herself. "I want to be with him, love him" she continues talking to herself. There - the decision was made. She wants everything. Everything that came with it - his wit, his skills as an author, his annoying personality, his deep blue eyes and wide shoulders, his humour, the way he moved, the way he had loved her. She wants everything.
"What to do?" she continues silently.
In the corner of her eye, she sees Ryan waving around some paper to Esposito. She stands up and steps towards the pair.
"What is it?" she asks Ryan. He halts and turns towards her, a little bit of fear in his eyes.
"Umm... " he stutters. "Castle wanted my help to run the license plate number through our system."
"Really?" she is surprised. She thought that Castle was by himself, rolling around with Slaughter. "What did you find?" she asks.
As Ryan explains the situation to her, she understands the implications of the evidence they have in hand. It is serious and she has to do something at least.
She makes her decision. She wants him. And right now, he is in BIG trouble. She has to have his back. After all, he is her partner. She can't leave him alone in this. She has to give something back to him, starting with her trust.
"Let's see if we can find any traffic cameras around that could have caught this car" she says to Ryan as the final piece of her decision falls into place.
Now I know what I want. I want him to love me back.
A/N: Thank you Fooxoo and PenguinOfTroy for editing and helping me to create this. Thank you Jess for CastleTV chatroom who initiates those writing sprints there. LOVE them!
Hope you liked it. And I hope you are kind enough to leave a review.
PS. I may still have some mistakes in there. If so, ignore them. It happens, since I'm not a native speaker of English.