When You Find Me
can't you see
that when I find you
I find me
The shot landed where Kate intended, right between Tyson's eyes, sending him backwards with a ghost of a smirk still hanging on his lips. He took Castle with him, both falling awkwardly to the van floor with a thump.
Kate scrambled, climbing into the van to get to Castle, already soaked by the pool of Tyson's blood. She grabbed at the rope, getting it off his neck as quickly as possible, pulling him against her. He was still conscious, but barely. His head rolled from side to side, a swelling indentation from the nylon circling his neck.
"Castle," she whispered against his temple, his back heavy against her chest. "Castle," she called a little louder, wrapping her arms tight around his torso, squeezing. She lightly pressed her lips against the mark left by the rope, causing him to flinch. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
"I'm good," he rasped, just barely able to get it out. The back of his head was sticky with blood. It smeared across her chest, the smell making her stomach churn. But he was OK. That was all that mattered.
Esposito popped up at the back of the van, looking winded.
"I heard a gun shot, what the hell happened?"
"I found Tyson," she said, trying for levity.
"Holy shit," Esposito breathed, eyes settling on Tyson's body, then flicking back to her and Castle. "He all right?"
Castle lifted a weak hand, thumb up, at Javier. Kate's mouth twitched, hugging him harder.
"He's going to need an ambulance, too."
Esposito nodded and disappeared again. She could hear him calling out for Ryan as he ran back toward the scene.
Kate sagged against the side of the van, pulling Castle with her. He grunted at the sudden movement, hissing in discomfort. She brushed an apology across his forehead with her lips.
Kate glanced at Tyson. It was against protocol and completely unprofessional but she reached out anyway, smudging the grin from his face.
While Alexis and Martha visited with Castle, Kate asked one of the nurses if she could get a scrub shirt. The older woman smiled softly at her and pointed her toward a bathroom where she could clean herself up a bit.
She stood, gripping the edges of porcelain hard, her knuckles burning white as she tried to push down the image of Castle being choked by that bastard. Her eyes were bloodshot, dark circles betrayed her exhaustion. It was over.
It was. Now she just needed to believe it.
She wiped the drying blood from her chest, folding her shirt for evidence and pulled on the green scrub shirt.
By the time she returned to the room, Martha and Alexis had left. It was late. Castle's eyes were shut, his breathing steady. They had wrapped his neck up and the doctor said his voice would be raspy for the next week or two.
He was off to one side of the small hospital bed, his head rolled to the side, mouth drooping. She took it as an invitation, slipping her shoes off and climbing into the bed with him.
They had loaded him up with pain killers. He had been loopy when Alexis and Martha were here and it would have been funny if not for the raspy quality his usually smooth voice had adopted. He also winced every time he had to swallow, pain flashing across his face.
Gates had stopped by earlier, telling her what she already knew. She'd be put on desk duty pending an investigation, the standard procedure when a cop kills a suspect. Castle looked upset by the news, his face falling, an unspoken apology pouring from his eyes. Kate just shook her head, bringing his palm to her lips.
It was worth it.
Kate reached out, brushing his hair off his forehead, watching as his brows furrowed. Beads of sweat bubbled at his hair line, a quiet whimper escaping.
"Castle," she whispered against his cheek, wrapping an arm around his torso. She pulled back as his eyes fought against the drugs to open. His eyes were glassy, a smile appearing on his face once he focused on her, a sigh of relief relaxing his entire body.
"How are you feeling?"
"Floaty," he croaked.
Kate huffed on a laugh. "Yeah, I bet you do. You're on the good stuff."
He grinned at her, eyes crinkling at the corners.
"Thank you," he whispered, sobering, swallowing hard, wincing.
Kate reached up, her fingers trailing lightly over the bandage at his neck.
"Anytime," she said, trying to smile, her mouth only making it half way.
Castle's eyes drooped.
"Sleep," she murmured, kissing his eyelids. He was out less than a minute later. She stayed, laying her head on the pillow next to him.
Just as she was beginning to doze off, there was a knock at the door. Kate twisted, looking over her shoulder. Ryan and Esposito were hovering in the doorway, both looking at the floor. Kate sighed, sitting up, kissing Castle's cheek as she swung her legs off the bed.
"Hey, guys. What's up?" she asked, ushering them into the hallway, pulling the door shut behind her.
"How's he doing?" Espo asked.
"He'll be all right," she said, trying to sound reassuring. For them and herself. "How's Gina?"
"She's good, just a little bruised up, nothing broken," Ryan explained.
"Good," Kate said while nodding, running a tired hand through her hair. "You guys need a statement from him?"
"Nah, it can wait," Esposito shrugged. "You should get some rest, Beckett."
They both gave her quick, tight hugs, asking her to pass on their 'get wells' onto Castle.
"Oh and Beckett?" Ryan called, pausing at the elevator bank down the hall. "Nice shot."
"Are you sure you're OK?"
"Yes," Castle said, emphatically. It had been two weeks since the Tyson incident and he was fine. His throat had healed, his voice was back to its usual velvety cadence. Kate playing nurse was nice, but he was ready to get back to the precinct.
The boys had come over to take his statement the day after he was released from the hospital. He explained what had happened. How the already insane Tyson seemed to have snapped, become completely unhinged. The serial killer hadn't said much, mostly babbled on and on about how Castle had ruined his plans. Again. Castle hadn't helped when he told Jerry it all seemed rather anti-climatic. That's when Tyson lunged at the writer, wrapping the rope around Castle's neck.
As soon as they stepped off the elevator and onto the homicide floor Gates called both of them into her office. Castle felt like he was being sent to the principal's office. There wasn't much hope that the change in their relationship went unnoticed by the captain. If there was any possibility it slipped by her, it was immediately crushed by the look on her face.
Castle obeyed, tripping over his own feet trying to get to the chair as fast as possible. Kate didn't take the offer, pacing behind him. He tried pleading with his eyes, begging her to just listen for once, but to no avail. She had that stubborn look of hers on.
"It's my understanding you two have entered into a romantic relationship. Is that correct?" she asked, her eyes glued to Castle's. He swallowed hard, his throat suddenly dry, willing himself to maintain eye contact. Don't back down.
"Yes, sir," Kate responded, her voice firm, unwavering.
"As much as I'd love to kick him out," she told Kate, "there's no rule against a detective and civilian consultant having a relationship. And believe me, I looked. Twice."
Castle was sweating, beads of it dripping down the back of his neck. She was saying he could stay, right?
"I will say this. Keep it out of my precinct. I see it interfering with cases, I will kick him out. Got it?"
They both nodded, along with a duet of "Yes, sirs," as they all but ran for the door.
"She's scary," Castle said, following Kate to her desk. The detective just rolled her eyes, but he could tell she was just as relieved as he was. And just as happy he could stay.
He plopped down in his chair, smiling at the image of her back in hers. She turned on her computer, then sat back crossing her arms, eyebrows raised.
"Aren't you forgetting something?"
He looked around at her desk, then down at his empty hands. Ah, yes.
"Coffee. Right. Be right back."
a/n: well, that's it! thank you so much for all the reviews and follows. i appreciate each and everyone of them! And thank you to Christina for looking it over for me!