So last chapter...I just really want to thank all of you who read this. You are all awesome!

Season five of Castle will be coming up soon (YAY!) I look forward to see all the fangirling that will be going on.

Disclaimer: Don't own Castle, mmhmm.

Castle's life was in danger.

In danger because Beckett was possibly going insane.

From the second she walked in the door and found him on the floor, she hadn't left him alone. Normally, her constant presence was something to be happy about, but in this case not so much. She refused to let him do anything on his own; her constant worry was starting to get on his nerves. Hell, even when she had to go take a bathroom break, she sent Alexis to stalk him. It was infuriating.

Castle squeezed the bridge of his nose in frustration; it wouldn't be so maddening and awkward if she'd just talk to him without her worry or anger in the way. He usually can cope with frustrated Beckett pretty well, but with drugs in his system and the soreness in his bones he's just about had it.

"You okay, Dad?" Alexis said, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder.

"I'm great, Sweetheart." He replied, swallowing the venom in his mouth that said otherwise. He had no right to take out his grumpiness on her.

Alexis looked at him doubtfully, she could always see through him so clearly, but she thankfully dropped it and plopped on the couch beside him.

"Where's Beckett?" He asked, suddenly realizing that she wasn't hovering nearby. He let his body relax slightly, knowing her penetrating gaze wasn't assaulting him for the moment.

"Around. I told her you might need some space. You know, you're not being all that subtle." She smiled at him, but it made him feel worse. Guilty, even.

He let out a low groan and Alexis patted him on the back, "Don't worry dad, I think she gets it. I know you're trying so hard because you don't want to upset her…or me." Castle gave his daughter a hard look as she kissed him lightly on the cheek and walked to the kitchen.

For the first time in a long time, he might need his mother's help to work on his acting skills.

Castle leaned back into the couch, letting his eyes slip closed. If only he could read Kate's mind, everything would be so much simpler. He was too tired to walk on eggshells around everyone, it required balance, patience and right now he didn't have either.

When Kate peeked in a few minutes later, just to make sure he hadn't done something stupid like practice jumping jacks, she found him sleeping on the couch. Beckett knew she was being overbearing, but she would be there next time something happened. She wouldn't miss the next time he needed her.

His little fall was a minor thing, but hearing Alexis's panicked voice and Castle's labored breathing over the phone was just a little too much for her. It was like a weight, the constant "What ifs" flying through her mind kept her alert. That weight wouldn't go away until his safety was guaranteed.

Her worries plagued her at night; she hadn't slept since she visited her apartment yesterday. She fell asleep in her own bed, its familiarity and warmth was comforting and far too tempting at the time, now she just regrets those few hours of unconsciousness. If she hadn't fallen asleep she would have been back earlier, and the whole thing wouldn't have even happened.

Beckett found herself wandering closer to Castle, standing over the back of the couch, letting her fingers run lightly through his hair. It was oddly soft; the feeling brought a faint smile to her lips. He thankfully didn't wake as she continued to thread her fingers through his hair. Strangely enough, this was always something she had wanted to do, even if she didn't admit it to herself. It took her awhile to truly understand the urge.

Castle suddenly jolted awake when her phone rang. She pulled herself away from him, apologizing as she opened her phone.

Castle looked at her groggily, "Kate?"

"Beckett." She said automatically, ignoring Castle's puzzled stare.

Esposito voice sounded irritated as he spoke, "Hey Beckett, I got news on the dicks who took Castle."

"Please tell me they're all in custody."

"Sorry Beckett, don't think so. All the men we have are dead ends, useless mercenaries." Beckett felt anger burn her insides, she gritted her teeth. How could they have missed them, where could they have gone? They were cornered, a whole team of SWAT guys on their tail. Where could they even go?

Beckett loosened her fist, it didn't matter. Castle was alive, that was her mission. Either way, mission accomplished.


"I'm here." She answered, the fight evaporating as she met Castle's concerned gaze. He offered his hand and she grasped it without a second thought. The sensation of his hand in hers made her relax, she'd much rather have Castle alive than have all of them behind bars.

The realization blinds her for a moment. Yes, she would rather have Castle living than have the people who killed her mother, Montgomery, and a handful of others, behind bars.

She was selfish.

She loved him. Completely.

If it meant Castle's death, she wouldn't want them to be caught. She wouldn't care where they were if their freedom meant his survival.

Kate was vaguely aware that Esposito was still talking, but all she could focus on at the moment was her hand still firmly held in his. His normally blue eyes seemed darker, haunted. She has tainted him, to some degree. At first, it seemed her darkness was grounding him. Now, she can see how it's haunting him. The fear and pain there, they match hers.

"I need to call you back." She mumbled, her voice weak and tired. How many lives is she going to damage with her problems?

"What's wrong?" Castle asked, his annoyance from before completely forgotten. Kate said nothing as she walked lazily around the couch. She plopped down beside him, letting her eyes fall close. When did her life take such a different direction?

"Kate, are you?"

Before she could think through the action, she threw herself at him, her lips locking with his roughly. Her fingers tangled in his hair and she pulled him impossibly closer. After the shock wore off, he reciprocated the action, their lips moving together in sync. Castle pushed back against her in encouragement, the movement elicited a groan from him and not the good kind.

Remembering his injuries, Kate pulled back, panting as she sucked in a breath.

"Sorry, I just needed some air." Castle gasped, holding Beckett close as his muscles started to unwind. Beckett leaned her head on his shoulder, trying to work up the courage to say all the things she couldn't. How she loved him, how sorry she was for poisoning him with her problems.

She tried to speak, she really did. The only thing she could muster up was, "I'm sorry, Rick."

Castle's grin dropped to a deep frown, "Kate…"

At that moment Martha chose to dance in, her voice booming, "Unless you guys are going to get a room, get up!" Kate discreetly wiped the beginning of tears from her eyes before getting off Castle's lap and standing.

She smiled at him, hoping he accepted it. Despite Martha's presence, he gently caressed her cheek with the back of his hand, "You alright?"

"I'm okay." She was, for now. Her guilt and fear were under control for the moment.

Martha glanced between the two of them, both amusement and concern in her expression. "Both of you and Alexis are going grocery shopping."

"But, Mother-"

"Don't you 'but mom' me. Doc called and encouraged you to move a little, keep your blood moving. You're going to need your wheelchair, by the way." Castle groaned theatrically.

Beckett laughed as she went to get her coat, "Are you sure he's okay to go out? I mean it was only yesterday that he fell."

Martha was clearly worried for her son, but she simply said "He'll be fine." And called for Alexis to come down.

Castle smirked and took Kate's hand, "Finally, I get to leave the loft."

"You better enjoy it, because when you get back, I'm handcuffing you to the bed. Can't have you injuring yourself." Castle's eyes widened as Kate half dragged him out the door.

"I have the list!" Alexis hollered from down the aisle. Castle was brooding in his wheelchair, constantly insisting that he can move it himself as Kate and Alexis alternated between pushing him and pushing the shopping cart.

Before they left, Beckett didn't contemplate how… domestic this activity was. It should be sending alarms off in her mind, but instead she was somewhat enjoying herself. It felt natural to be hanging with the Castles, doing a simple mundane thing as grocery shopping with them.

She smiled as Alexis returned with syrup and the list. "How much more do we need?"

"Few things, milk, ice cream,- " Alexis rolled her eyes towards her father. "Bread, eggs, and I think that's it."

"Alright, well let's go get milk then."

Castle stopped his wheels just as they were trying to push him, "No, I'm going to wheel myself, thank you very much." Both women put their hands on their hips at his temper tantrum.


He shook his head, "No, besides the doctor said I should move. I'm not moving if I'm just sitting on my ass while you guys push me." Castle stubbornly pushed his wheels forward.

"Suit yourself, let me know if you get tired."

They slowly made their way over to the dairy section; Castle wasn't exactly faster wheeling himself. Alexis glanced at their list before informing Kate they needed two gallons of milk and some eggs. As Beckett was walking back with two gallons of milk in her hands she noticed Castle staring at her with the oddest smirk on his face.

She returned his smile, "What is it?"

"Nice jugs." He burst out laughing at his joke, muttering "ow" in-between laughs.

Beckett glared at him, but struggled to keep the scowl on her face. It was kind of funny. ..

"Sorry." He muttered after a moment, taking in her expression. He had the decency to look like he was about to be punished.

She rolled her eyes and let out a chuckle, "It's fine, Castle. It actually is kind of funny."

Beckett put the milk in the cart before grabbing the handles of Castle's wheelchair and pushing down, causing his wheels to go up. Castle let out a surprised yell before his wheels plopped back down.

"Hey! No scaring the cripple!" He exclaimed, righting his wheelchair.

"You're no cripple." She laughed as she pushed his chair down the aisle. The writer managed to stop, but couldn't get his chair turned around.

They were both laughing when Alexis came around the corner, "What's so funny?"

"Nothing." They said in unison.

"Sure." Alexis took the handles of Castle's wheelchair and started pushing him.

The grin on Castle's face made her think that maybe she hadn't broken him as much as she thought. Maybe he'd really be okay.

That night, Kate didn't even bother with the pretense of going to the guest room. She made her makeshift bed outside of Castle's room, he was already asleep, well pretty sure he was asleep.

She didn't know how much longer she could stay here without becoming more of a burden to them, but no one had said anything yet, so she hadn't asked. Beckett liked to think her presence was welcome anyway.

She leaned her head back against the door, allowing her eyes to fall close at the sound of his small movements.

On the other side of the door, Castle was most certainly not asleep. He was tossing and turning, he had heard enough of the phone call between Beckett and Esposito to know that his captors had not been caught. Would they come back? Their job wasn't finished, he knew too much. He would have to go into witness protection, Beckett too.

That possibility didn't seem all that bad at the moment.

But why wasn't she pissed at him? He was the reason, or at least part of the reason why they hadn't been caught. He stood from his bed and began slowly pacing the room. Pacing being a generous term, he was more so limping from one end of the room to the other. Unable to take all the questions spinning around in his mind, he walked out of his room, determined to go and confront Beckett.

He had assumed Beckett would be in the guestroom, but instead he nearly tripped over her at the foot of his door. She looked small sleeping there all hunched over and from the looks of it, uncomfortable. Normally he would have done the manly, romantic thing and pick her up while she slept and placed her in his bed. But unfortunately, his injuries halted his efforts.

"Ah, dammit." He muttered, the small sound startling Beckett awake. She stood up instantly, alert.

"Are you alright?" She demanded. Her eyes were wide with concern; it was like she was expecting something to be wrong.

"I'm fine. Why are you sleeping on the floor again?"

"I…wanted to." She mumbled, shaking her head. If Castle didn't know any better, it looked like Kate was blushing a little.

"Well, there's no reason for you to be uncomfortable." He smiled and hesitantly took her hand. He saw no resistance in her expression as he gently tugged her into his bedroom. He was almost waiting for her to give him a firm "No" but it never came. They both laid gently down on his bed, the tension between them spiking. The tension was not entirely sexual, but unspoken words. There were a lot of things that needed to be talked about.

Kate was nervous as she let her head rest on the pillow beside Castle, his blue eyes meeting hers.

They just stared for a few minutes, neither willing to start a conversation that could end very badly. Or it could end very well, but often times when these discussions finally came, it never seemed to end well.

Castle was the first to break the ice, "I'm sorry, Kate." Her brow furrowed. He was sorry?

"For what, Castle? If it's about the murder board in your office, I get it. Well, I'm kind of pissed about that, but I get it."

Now Castle was confused, when had she seen that?

"No. No not that. I'm sorry that I kind of ruined your case. I thought I was protecting you, but I put your life in more danger." Beckett was already shaking her head before he finished.

"You don't need to be sorry, I'm going to have a target on my head whether you're there or not, Rick." Castle felt a surge of emotion at Kate using his first name. She should be angry with him, was there something he was missing?

"Didn't they all get away though? If I hadn't been in the way they would've been caught." Castle couldn't meet her eyes, he felt responsible. How many times has this happened? How many times would he get in the way? He thought doing this on his own would keep her safe, make this whole thing easier.

Kate put her hands on his face, forcing him to look her in the eye, "I don't care, Castle."

Castle met her gaze. He looked confused at the thought, "What…"

"I don't care Castle, I went in there looking for you and I got you out. That was all I wanted."

"I don't think I was worth it. How many more people are going to die because I was in the way?" Kate slapped him, hard enough that the sound of it seemed to echo throughout the room, but not hard enough to actually hurt. Castle touched his cheek in disbelief.

"You were worth it, Castle. You are more valuable to me than that. You're more important than a case!" Castle was taken aback by her honesty. The sincerity in her eyes was too much, he pulled her closer. The slap to the face momentarily forgotten.

When their lips met it was more than a kiss, it was a thank you. Castle couldn't put into words how grateful he was to her for saving his life. Their kiss was gentle, careful. Both of them very conscious of exactly where they were and how much they were capable of.

When they broke apart, he had to tell her. He had to tell her that he how grateful he was, "Thank you. I can't…if it wasn't for you I'd be dead."

Castle gently wiped the tears pooling at the corner of her eyes. She leaned her forehead against his before whispering. "I…I love you, Rick."

His eyes widened in disbelief. Did she really just say those words? Hope and love pounded in his chest, "I love you too."

"I know." She smiled and planted a heated kiss on his lips. Castle wasn't sure if he would ever hear those words come from her. He wondered briefly if this was some twisted dream. He was so sure that their last fight was really it. That everything they fought for, everything they've been through meant nothing.

"So we're okay?" Castle asked, it all seemed too good to be true.

"We're always okay, Castle."

The End.

SORRY FOR CHEESY ENDING (and the short chapter). I had no idea how to end this honestly. Well I kinda did, but not really.

Well, now before season five starts I suggest a "The ship is canon" party.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!