*This is just a quick little one-shot I thought up. It just takes a different look at how things could work out between Rick and Kate. So, yeah, enjoy.

Disclaimer: If I owned Castle, she wouldn't have walked away in the pilot...

(Kate)

Tonight is their last night together, Kate realizes.

Tonight is the last time they can do this. Whatever the fuck this is.

She doesn't want it to end, but it has to. They can't go on like this. She can't go on like this. Which is why Kate ends up crying; sobbing so hard that she's gasping for breath that won't come. She hates letting him see her cry, which is why it's rather unfortunate that it hits her while they're having sex; that she starts crying in the middle of one of the most intense orgasms of her life.

It's more than a little embarrassing.

They've been doing this whole "friends with benefits" thing for about a month and a half. They weren't sure what to do with each other, but they both knew that they wanted more. And at the moment, sex was the best they were going to get.

But Kate knows that it's over now. What they're doing; it's too much, but not enough at the same time. She wants more from him than he's apparently willing to give. He may have loved her once, but he's made it clear that he doesn't anymore. Fuck, maybe he never really did. And it's because of that that she knows this can't continue. Being with him like this, so close and yet so far away, breaks her heart. It breaks a little more each time, and she knows she'll never mend if they keep doing this. Because even this gives her what she knows logically is false hope. That doesn't stop her from hoping, though. Doesn't stop her from wanting him; from loving him.

"Kate?" His voice rings in her ears, low and concerned, and the gentleness in his tone only makes her cry harder. "Kate, what's wrong?"

She blinks up at him through tear filled eyes, tries to catch her breath so she can tell him. He's still hovering over her, most of his weight supported on his elbows and forearms. He reaches a hand out, wipes a few tears away, allows her to rest her cheek against his palm for a moment. He guides her face so that she's looking directly into his eyes. "Kate, talk to me."

She has to remind herself what she has to do, because that look in his eyes is making her forget everything but his name right now. He's giving her false hope, damn him. Kate steels her resolve, finally calms down enough to speak. "Ri-Castle, we can't keep doing this." Her voice is broken and raw. Yeah, Kate, that sounds convincing.

Pain flashes across his face as if he knows exactly what she means; as if he doesn't want this to end either. "Why?" he breathes. "Why now?"

Well, if he really wants to know..."Because I love you," she whispers, closing her eyes as more tears leak out. "And...and I can't keep doing this." Her breath catches on a sob. "My heart breaks a little more every time, because I want so much more than just this, but I know that's not what you want." She shakes her head, trying to dislodge his hand, because he still hasn't moved it from her face, and she can't deal with him touching her right now, but he keeps it stubbornly in place. "I know you don't want me like that anymore. And at first, I thought I could deal with this. If I couldn't have all of you, at least I'd have some part of you, but it's not enough. It's not enough," she repeats in a whisper, opening her eyes cautiously. She's expecting pity, discomfort, awkwardness, maybe a little guilt.

She's not expecting the tears in his eyes, or the way his body is trembling above her. She's not expecting the look of absolute horror on his face, a look that screams What have I done?. She's definitely not expecting him to kiss her.

But that's exactly what he does. Leans down and kisses her, so sweetly, so tenderly, that, for a moment, that bubble of hope swells in her chest again. She tramps it back down, turning her head to break the kiss. Tonight is hard enough already, and he's just making it worse.

"Kate." His voice is a whisper, a plea. He's still holding her, but he's so much closer now, surrounding her, preventing her from escaping.

"I lied to you," she whispers, not really sure why she says it. But it's now or never, she figures. It'll be better this way; get everything out in the open all at once. Then nothing; nothing else for the rest of her life. "After I was shot," she clarifies, in case he didn't know. "I remember everything." I remember you told me you loved me...then...

"I know," he replies, his voice strangled and desperate. Her eyes fly to his, wondering. "I heard you tell that kid you were interrogating during that bombing case. I thought..." He sighs, closing his eyes momentarily. "I thought you lied because you were embarrassed; because you didn't feel the same way. I had no idea..."

"Oh god," she whispers, reaching a hand up to smooth the creases in his forehead. "Rick, I lied because I didn't know how to react. But you have to believe me, it was never because I didn't feel the same way. I have never, never, felt this way about anyone. It was so intense, and it scared me, and I was already dealing with so much..." She closes her eyes as more tears fall. "I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry."

He's close now, kissing her tears away. "I'm sorry, too. For being such a jackass. For punishing you for no reason. For looking into your mom's case, your shooting..."

"Hey," she whispers, cupping his cheek, "we had that fight already, okay? It's done, it's in the past. And you know better than to keep something like that from me again."

He still looks like he's holding the world on his shoulders. "You know I was only doing it to protect you, right?"

She nods, smiling genuinely for the first time all night. "I know. Now shut up and kiss me."

He obliges enthusiastically, and she can feel him smiling against her lips. "You love me," he murmurs, happiness and awe lacing his words.

"Mmm, I do," she replies, biting his lower lip gently. "And you love me?" she asks, her insecurity needing to hear the words.

"I do," he assures her, moving his lips to her throat. "So much. So, so much..."

As they lose themselves in their love, Kate feels tears welling up again, but this time because she's happy. Happier than she's been in years. And she knows that whatever the hell they were doing is over. But she doesn't care, because this is so much better.


*Yeah, so that's that. Idk, it was just a scenario that I needed to get out of my head. I like it. My friend and I dubbed the genre flungst, a combination of fluff and angst. Reviews are love.