SUMMARY: A snapshot of minds. One-shot. Takes place during 4.07, "Cops and Robbers".
AUTHOR'S NOTE: As you can probably guess, I'm watching Castle for the first time and this episode is where I am in the universe as of last night. The moment was too good to pass up. I definitely tried to get in their heads with this one. Also, for those of you waiting for the next chapter of The Quiet Life of Severus Snape, don't worry your pretty little heads, I'm working on it. This was just a brief diversion. ;)
This might be the last time she ever sees him alive.
The blue eyes that spark with recognition when he sees that it's her, the breath that he begins to hold, the suffocated stress written in every line of his face—she knows him and she would bet her life that he has spent every second as a hostage trying to find a way out.
He seems to say everything at once, without speaking the words themselves. Don't leave me here simultaneous with do your job, Kate. She sees it in the tension around his mouth with those two terse words: Not good. In spite of everything—how he bullied his way onto her team and then into her life, his determination to question and shatter all of her perfect facades, every argument, every uttered syllable she didn't want to hear, the radio silence prompted by her overblown fear of three little words—he is her partner, and she is terrified that she will never see him again.
Her vision is a blur of emotion and tactical sweeping, but she will always remember this: every detail in the lines of his face, close enough to kiss, as her fingers wrap around his and she promises that she will save him. And the blue eyes that believe.
He still trusts her, though she has never once earned it.
She should say it, now, while she still has the chance, but there is no time, and she has to do her job.
She is terrified.
He can see it in the hazel eyes that dart too quickly around the room, rushing to complete the visualization so that she can look back to him, questioning. His heart stops to see her, but that isn't out of the ordinary. This might be any other day except for the severity of her anxiety, reflected only in the extreme neutrality of her expression.
He believes, unequivocally, in her. She doesn't say the words—she might never say the words—but he knows what's in her heart. All he has to do is look at her and remember every time she smiled, every time she looked away, every little moment that betrayed a flicker of what's locked up inside. And so he believes—because once, they nearly froze to death in one another's arms, and she thanked him for being there—he believes that she will get him out of this alive.
Her voice is hoarse with fear as she shouts his name through the rubble, and the force of her relieved smile is enough.