I never thought I'd actually write something for this fandom.

To be honest, I've got nothing original and this is more of what I see running through Ryan's head during the episode, but I hope you all enjoy it anyway.

My heart just really broke for Ryan during Always, and that's how this story formed.

It's rough and can definitely be patched up. I only saw the episode yesterday. But I have no time to revise too much since I should be studying for finals!

Please try to enjoy it anyway.

Disclaimer: I don't own Castle. Otherwise I wouldn't be a poor college student stressing about finals.

When Kevin Ryan sees a glimpse of Beckett on the roof, fighting with that bastard, he almost throws himself out of the police car. As it is, once parked, he hurtles out and takes to the stairs like he has Hermes' sandals, flying up.

But still, it's not fast enough.

His heart is pounding, on the verge of exploding, and his lungs are burning and his legs pumping as fast as he can make them, but still.

It's not enough.

So when he gets to the roof and sees no one there, no one standing, despair almost washes over him. And then he hears her voice and sees her slipping hand and before he can even command his feet to move, he's already running. It doesn't even matter that she doesn't know who's coming to get her.

She is sister, she is friend, and besides Jenny, his mother and his sisters, she's the woman he loves most in this world. He knew it then, he knows it now and if the SWAT hadn't been there to help, he would have thrown himself off that roof trying to save her.

But the SWAT team was there.

And so she had lived and so had he. And so had Esposito, wherever the hell he'd been.

It half kills him to see the lack of response in her eyes, to know she looks at him and doesn't see him but the one who should've been there.

But he'd saved her.

He'd saved her.

He'd saved her.

And he'd also saved himself in the process and he clings to those truths.

He has to start clinging pretty damn hard when she sees the captain behind him and her eyes clear and when they do, there's only fury and betrayal.

And he wants to explain.

He wasn't wrong.

It was the right thing to do.

He would rather have them alive and betrayed than dead. Because there's no dead and something. There's only dead and that's the end. That's the only something they get.

He remembers the nuns and the Father from school, intoning about the afterlife and whatnot. And he hasn't thrown out the sink with the bathwater, but he knows this; if people live beyond death, they don't care about life anymore. It's over. Done. They're not coming back. When they die they die and only the living get to keep fighting.

But none of these words come out and Beckett passes him by. The words still won't come during the car ride back and it's the most awkward ride he's ever taken with her, sitting beside her but unable to say a thing, not even to ask if she's all right. Because of course she's not and it's stupid to ask but it's the kind of thing you do, ask pointless questions. But he doesn't have that right and so he glances at her every so often to confirm that he didn't fail and that she won't disappear, out of his reach. .

The tension doesn't get any better when Esposito walks into the station and follows Beckett into Gates' office. He doesn't look at him and Kevin thinks it would be easier to leave now. But he doesn't.

Instead, he tightens his jaw and crosses his arm and leans against his desk, waiting for them to come out.

They're alive and that's all that matters.

It becomes harder and harder to believe that as he sees Javier taking off his gun, handing over his badge. Beckett...tossing her life for the last thirteen years down.

But at least she still has a life.

He goes home late, after Beckett and Esposito leave and he's done throwing things. After he's done re-convincing himself that he's done the right thing.

And Jenny is there and she sees the dark look on his face and she listens to him sorrow, heats him milk with honey, and then holds him. Because Kevin only has truths to hold onto so she holds him and he remembers and holds on to her to keep from falling.

He'd held on to Becket's arm with both hands, leaving nothing to support himself with and if she'd fallen, he would have too. And he wouldn't have begrudged her for any of it because he would have given her life to save her.

Because she is family and friend and beloved and he will do anything to make sure she stays alive. Javier isn't wrong; they should always have her back. But while Esposito plunges into the danger with Beckett, he will hang back and make sure the two of them come back alive because that is how he has their back.

And hopefully they'll see it. Even if it's not tomorrow or anytime soon, hopefully they'll see it and at least understand, if not forgive.

But even if they don't, at least they're still alive.

Javier is alive.

Kate is alive.

He holds on to this, waiting for the ground to come back under his feet.

It seems to be all that he has left

For anyone who wants to take me to task about whether or not Ryan saw Beckett on the roof before she was hanging off, I may have taken liberties. I don't know.

I do know that I find it hard to believe that Ryan saw her hanging and managed to make it up to the roof in the short amount of time that she hung there. If it's that important to you guys, I'll look into changing it when I have time.

But I hope you enjoyed and are looking forward to the next season as much as I am!