title: one hundred kisses (at least)
chapters: 0 of 20(+)
character/pairing: castle/beckett, alexis, espo, ryan, etc.
summary: "You need this, but I don't. I don't need to see this guy gone. I need to see you, Kate. Every morning, I need to see your face. I need to -" He steps towards her, watches her lips. "-need to kiss you. Need to know that you're safe. And if I owe you one hundred kisses, you better damn well be alive for them." Castle/Beckett. Sequel to One Hundred Coffees.
author's note: I have no self control so here have the prologue (zero what I posted on Coffees) and number one. I'll move number one to join the next four when I have enough brain cells to handle writing more than the slight twist and emotionally stilted version of the episode that has currently destroyed my existence. Part of the dialogue in one might sound familiar. It's because it's from the show. Why? Because it's flawless. Everything is flawless and everything hurts but it's okay because Castle and Beckett are headed for the bedroom. What? Did I just say that? I did. Go ahead. Read now. Leave me to fangirl and die in peace.
Recap - Kate and Rick are together 'cause my AU worked faster than canon.
Kate should've known this would happen. Everything's been... perfect. Two weeks of perfect. From the headless case that Rick just had to get involved with to the zombies wrapping up nicely - it's too good. Too sweet. She should've been expecting the bomb to fall, the storm to hit, the dragon to resurface and burn down the house they're just now building properly.
She's huddled in the corner of the couch, her feet pulled under her and her eyes... they're so far away she might as well be on the zombie drug. It's hard to think. Hard to breathe. That makes her laugh a bit. She should be used to these feelings by now. Yet, they hit her hard. Strong. Winding her to the point where she's having flashbacks to being in the hallway during the sniper case or that second night at her dad's place.
Now, that night, it was the first real night of her not being in the hospital and not just being exhausted. She was awake. She was trying not to be, but she was on a lot of meds, cooped up in a bed, with crickets and a blanket from her childhood thrown over her legs. She would blink and hours would go by. Until suddenly she blinked and time went in reverse. She was back on that field, with her sniper, and her mentor in the ground, and her Castle too far out of reach. The room spun around her. Spun and spun and tossed and eventually her throat started to burn. She didn't even recognize that she was screaming at the time. Her dad told her as much. Told her he didn't know what to do with her. She wasn't shaking. She wasn't moving. She was lying on the bed, paralyzed with fear, petrified. She was just looking out and screaming. He sat there, trying to calm her down for over an hour. And when she came to, the crickets were silent, the blanket was gone, and the pain in her chest refused to go away. She asked him to stay with her that night. First time since her mom died, and neither of them slept.
Rick's head is in the doorway. He looks at her, steps in. He's staring in that way that makes her want to fix her hair. How bad is it? She's been here for a while. It's probably awful, but she can't bring herself to move the hand to fix it. She does offer him a weak smile though. Or is it a grimace?
He reaches her and lowers himself onto the ground so that they're at eye level. "You've got to talk to me, Kate. You have to. We can't just bottle things up. You know that."
She knows a lot of things. She knows that she's the youngest female detective in the NYPD. She knows that Alexis is going to wind up graduating top of her class at Columbia. She even knows that this case is going to destroy her. She just doesn't know how to tell him that. How to tell him that it's okay because this is what happens whenever her life gets too perfect. This has to happen.
She wants to say it. She says, "I know," instead. He takes her hand. Kisses it. She sighs at the touch. Breathes. He seems to take that as a good sign and repeats it. He kisses her knuckles again and again. Each time, she breaths a little bit better, a little bit easier. She starts counting them. Six, seven, eight. And she forces away the memories. Twelve, thirteen, fourteen. She brings herself to this moment. To them. Eighteen, nineteen. She turns her body, pulls her legs out a bit and turns herself so that she's fully facing him. Twenty-one. Their eyes meet. Twenty-two. He whispers, "I -" twenty-three "- love -" twenty-four "- you." Twenty-five. She catches his lips with her own.
She whispers back, "Always." And he grins at her in this sad sort of way. Not exactly the best circumstances. She rises from the couch then and pulls him along with her. They get to the kitchen and she starts up the coffee machine. As it brews, she gets a mug down and grabs a pen. She starts to write on it while he looks on. Then, when the coffee's done, she fixes his cup and hands it to him.
He takes a sip before he looks at the cup, which reads: This cup is for my boyfriend. You might know him – handsome guy, thinks he can charm the world, wears his heart on his sleeve. If you see him, tell him he owes me at least one hundred kisses.
He grins again, and it's not so sad. He clarifies, "At least?" She nods. "Starting when?"
"Tomorrow," he agrees, but just because he starts tomorrow doesn't mean he can't practice tonight.
(For the record, Kate knew that was going to happen too.)